Central Point man missing near Union Creek

Union Creek, Ore. —  Monday marked day two of a search for a Central Point man, missing in the Union Creek area. Douglas Vail was fishing in the Rogue River Gorge on Saturday, and didn’t return home that night. His car was found in the Beckies Cafe parking lot.

Jackson County Search and Rescue Crews spent two days combing the area, hoping to bring the fisherman home.

Steve Davis stopped in the area, and noticed the crews.

“A mile or two up the road, a couple people stopped, it looked like they were gathered for something, but I didn’t know what it was.” Davis said.

The group spent the day searching around the water.

“Because Mr. Vail was fishing, we’ve been concentrating on the areas directly around the river,” Sergeant Shawn Richards. “By ground, K-9 and helicopter.”

For this mission, the search and rescue unit has another source of help: a drone. It’s a tool they previously haven’t been able to use.

“It’s been a long process, and we’ve really just eased into it, to where we’re starting to use a utilize a drone on a search and rescue mission,” Sgt. Richards said.

Throughout the afternoon, the crew swept up and down the Gorge, getting a 360-degree look at the rocks and water below.

“It allows us, that technology, to get high resolution pictures of places that in the past, we would have to use climbers on a rope, which is dangerous, as well as, just takes a lot of time,” Sgt. Richards said.

While officials aren’t sure exactly what Vail was wearing Saturday, they said he could have been in a brimmed hat, a shirt, and jeans or cargo shorts. They’re looking for any sign, but hoping for only one outcome.

“Find him,” Sgt. Richards said. “You know, find him out there, alive and well.”

Vail is 5’11”, around 180 pounds, with blue eyes and short grey hair. Anyone who may have seen him on Saturday is asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

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