SIERRA COUNTY (CBS SF) – An Oakland man and his two young children who were missing for two days following a camping trip in a remote part of the Sierra have been found safe Thursday night.
The Downieville Fire Department told KPIX 5 that Nicholas Vlahos, his five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter were located by rescuers around 8:00 p.m.
Vlahos and his family were taken by helicopter to a base camp near the near the town of Camptonville, about 85 miles northeast of Sacramento.
Brad Dempster, deputy sheriff with the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office, told KPIX 5 that Vlahos and his children went into the wilderness in their truck when they became stuck. Conditions became muddy and their truck slipped off an embankment. Vlahos tried to use a winch on his truck to get out, but encountered multiple problems.
Dempster said an Air National Guard helicopter spotted the family and airlifted them to safety. The family was uninjured.
“Everybody seems fine,” Dempster told KPIX 5.
Before they went missing, authorities said Vlahos and his children were camping in western Sierra County. Authorities said they planned to drive through a remote and rugged area of Sierra and Plumas Counties before they went home. They were reported missing Tuesday evening when they failed to arrive in the Bay Area.
Vlahos was described as an experienced outdoorsman and had plenty of supplies for the trip.
Bradley Roberts, Vlahos’ friend and business partner, told KPIX 5 before they were rescued that he expected they would be found safe. “They’re going to find him stuck somewhere and we’re going to laugh about it in a couple of days … and everything’s going to be fine – I hope,” Roberts said.
It is unclear when Vlahos and his family are returning to the Bay Area.