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Missing Palo Alto couple located in Marin County

Original post made on Feb 22, 2020

Missing Palo Alto residents Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin were found alive on Saturday morning, eight days after they were last seen in Marin County, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, February 22, 2020, 11:19 AM

Comments (41)

91 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2020 at 11:22 am

This is fantastic news! It makes my heart happy!


31 people like this
Posted by Agustina
a resident of University South
on Feb 22, 2020 at 11:23 am

This is great news. I’m so happy this had a happy ending.
I wonder what happened to them and I hope they provide more info.


58 people like this
Posted by Elsa
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 22, 2020 at 11:35 am

Big thanks to the rescue team!!


28 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2020 at 11:39 am

Wonderful news indeed. Look forward to reading the full story.


52 people like this
Posted by Trish Bubenik
a resident of University South
on Feb 22, 2020 at 11:49 am

SO HAPPY CAROL AND IAN HAVE BEEN FOUND!!!! Our friends and neighbors will soon be home!!! We will plan a huge celebration!!!


40 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 22, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Our tax dollars at work. Great that they found them alive and didn’t quit searching. In some other countries, life is cheap. We are so fortunate to live here.
[Portion removed.]


83 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 22, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Wow! Many thanks to the many search and rescue professionals and volunteers who did not give up.


38 people like this
Posted by Wonderful news!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Thank goodness for the heroic persistence of the many people who participated in this search. I'm so glad to know that all is well.


90 people like this
Posted by 3M
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 22, 2020 at 1:05 pm

CORRECTION TO CITIZEN: Volunteer, NOT tax dollars at work. “Anytime, Anywhere, Any Weather” - Marin County Search & Rescue (Marin SAR), a division of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, is an all-volunteer organization comprised of approximately 80 members ranging in age from 14-75. ... Its all-volunteer status saves taxpayers almost $2,000,000 annually (based on Sheriff Department estimates).
Donate at www.marinsar.org/donate/


24 people like this
Posted by Casey C
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 22, 2020 at 1:11 pm

The best news!!! I'm so grateful they're alive! Love them both so much.


30 people like this
Posted by Oh
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm

@3M: "All volunteer", still costed us some money. Sheriff was involved, helicopters, etc. I'm often reading about lost hikers. Glad they were found alive, but irresponsible behavior should have to pay back the costs of a search & rescue.


24 people like this
Posted by Happy
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Praise God for answered prayers! Praying for rescue operation to continue to go smoothly, and everyone be kept safe and victims to recover well.


9 people like this
Posted by who
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 22, 2020 at 2:09 pm

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Suemah
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2020 at 2:43 pm

wonderful news!!



9 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 22, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Photo shows Sonoma County Sheriff's Bell 407 helicopter N108SC. Online tracking data available, dispatched from Santa Rosa around 10:30am probably shortly after the couple were located by ground searchers. Looks like extraction area was less than two hiking miles northwest of Via De La Vista. Google map shows a trail heading inland from Shell beach.


13 people like this
Posted by Ben Dover
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 22, 2020 at 3:18 pm

I remember back in circa 1994 when Atherton resident Alan Austin was lost for two days and two nights in the winter near a Tahoe ski area. A massive search and research effort was launched, and was eventually successful. At that time, it was California policy that the home county (in this case San Mateo County) of the lost person was assessed a big chunk of the monies used to pay for the local rescue attempt. Is that still this case? In other words, will Santa Clara county be charged for the recent rescue?

By the way, I’m glad they were found! Happy recovery!


64 people like this
Posted by Judith Wasserman
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 22, 2020 at 3:54 pm

To those who seem to object to taxes being used for rescue operations: Accidents happen. Who says anyone is responsible? Or irresponsible?
The chances of you being in a car accident is greater than these people falling off a cliff, or whatever happened to them. [Portion removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Illuminato
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2020 at 4:10 pm

I'm surprised the searchers didn't give up. That's a long time to be missing in the woods and still be found alive.


22 people like this
Posted by Relieved!
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 22, 2020 at 5:04 pm

Such good news!
A BIG Thank you to the volunteer search and rescue teams. They said hundred had spent 10+ hours per day last week looking for them.

And a good reminder to always hike with a few key items: flashlight, whistle, water, snacks, first aid kit & emergency blanket especially since so many areas still don't have cell coverage.


45 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 22, 2020 at 5:07 pm

This is wonderful news! They've been on my mind all week.

Can't believe anyone thinks they should pay back expenses for the search -- our taxes pay for these services and they are provided reciprocally (Marin County covers this rescue, Santa Clara and San Mateo County covers the rescue of non-residents in need). Things happen, and I'm grateful for the hundreds of volunteers and rescue professionals who put in so much effort to find them. They should be proud!


55 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 22, 2020 at 6:04 pm

Can we please just be happy they were found for a few minutes before we start grousing about tax dollars?

Without knowing more, I’m loathe to blame this couple for becoming lost on a hike.

We pay taxes to support emergency services. Emergency services exist to help people in emergencies! Let’s all be grateful the system worked.


32 people like this
Posted by Grateful
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 22, 2020 at 6:44 pm

Thank goodness! Welcome back.

(Agree that the taxpayer/paying back is tasteless discussion! We are here to help each other and this kind of search is well worth it!)


22 people like this
Posted by SCR
a resident of University South
on Feb 22, 2020 at 6:45 pm

We're so very happy they've been found and in better shape than anyone could have hoped for. It's been a hole in our heart for the last week and now our friends are going to come home.

Emergency services like this are the way we care for each other. It's a reflection of our values (values shared around the world, btw).

We're so thankful for the volunteers and departments that persevered even when things looked essentially hopeless.

We encourage people to donate to Marin Search and Rescue, an organization of volunteers, who go out of their way for other people, and who made the difference between life and death in this situation. We have donated to them. We hope others will too.

Web Link

-Steve


9 people like this
Posted by Rose A
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 22, 2020 at 7:42 pm

I’m so glad they were found and are recovering from their ordeal. I’m glad we have the resources that were used to search for them.


15 people like this
Posted by becca
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2020 at 7:51 pm

I don't know the couple but I worried. I felt no one should think they were dead at only 7 days. They could have been forced in to a car or anything.
People have disappeared in Point Reyes and anyone disappearing makes others afraid to visit such places, like the airbnb where the couple stayed if they were never found.
These people helped people. Working with lingistics and parkinsons, yet some people say nasty things.
I am very happy they were found in good spirits.
The expense is ok. People get help all the time in Yosemite and many places.
Anyone can have something go wrong and manybplaces have no cell phone useage


17 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2020 at 9:11 pm

When does the movie come out?


14 people like this
Posted by Still confused
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2020 at 9:30 pm

I’m still confused, why if he was described (earlier) as an experienced hiker - even survival expert - did he go on a twilight hike w/o basic preparations, cell phone?


32 people like this
Posted by Family
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 22, 2020 at 9:58 pm

Groot! Groot! Groot! Yay! I'm ecstatic, too, and I don't even know them. This is a real answer to prayers! Three lost hikers found alive thanks to dedicated searchers. Thanks to EVERYONE who cares so much about your fellow man that you get involved this way! You sound like lovely people, Carol and Ian, from my family to yours, all the best for a speedy recovery!

I think the situation is just a reminder to everyone about how important it is to be prepared, even for short day hikes, even if the hikers are experienced. This could have happened to anyone, and in fact is happening a lot more now:
More people heading into wilderness unprepared is a national phenomenon, especially urban wilderness.
Web Link

And to the posters above who see only $ and cents:
Web Link
"Many internet commenters (most of whom probably don’t go hiking all that much, either) have suggested charging the hikers for their rescues. I know several SAR volunteers read this site and they’ve rightly said that when you put a price tag on a rescue, it actually makes people more likely to get in trouble because they won’t call for help when they need it." (The rest of the article grapples with the phenomenon of how to reach unprepared hikers in urban wilderness.)

This sounds like a very innocent jaunt to see the sunset, not a night hike (for which they would surely have prepared themselves). Sometimes people make mistakes, especially in unfamiliar places, and I'm so glad this had a happy ending. It feels wonderful to know that they were found due to such dedication, concern, and expertise.


13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2020 at 7:16 am

I agree with the previous poster completely.

However, I think now is a good time to remind ourselves of common safety measures when we go out for a hike of any type, whether it be in the Baylands or Foothills Park.

Always take water, and always tell someone where you are going and when you are expecting to be back. These are just basic common sense measures. Furthermore, long sleeves (even in summer), sensible shoes, hat, snacks, and yes a phone and your wallet make sense too. Many of these things would not have helped Carol and Ian after 8 days, but may make a difference for the first 24 hours. Their experience is very unusual, normally a much shorter time would be the norm for a hiker who gets lost or has some type of accident.

So pleased that they are safe. Look forward to hearing their full story.


8 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm

According to the SJ Mercury News: “The vegetation was so dense, one team spent nearly two hours crawling through it at one point during the search.”

It was Valentine’s Day. Perhaps staying inside their room would have been a safer choice. At least in the night time cold weather, they probably kept each other warm.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 23, 2020 at 1:11 pm

What caused these avid hikers and experienced outdoorspeople to go on a hike without a cellphone or ID on either of them? If you don't want the cell phone to take away from the nature, fine, turn it off. But both avid hikers without a cell phone?

You can buy a tiny GMRS radio for about $20 just to have on you when you hike. Any experienced outdoorsman will know this. I can see young novices not taking any communication or ID. But graying experienced hikers?


6 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 23, 2020 at 3:08 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2020 at 6:17 pm

What is the time limit for the “Breaking News” banner? They were found yesterday morning.


8 people like this
Posted by Family
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 23, 2020 at 8:29 pm

@Resident,
"What caused these avid hikers and experienced outdoorspeople to go on a hike without a cellphone or ID on either of them? If you don't want the cell phone to take away from the nature, fine, turn it off. But both avid hikers without a cell phone? "

It doesn't sound like they really went out on a hike, it sounds like they just went out to catch the sunset and got lost in the waning light. I've been thinking about this and the AirBnB situation -- a hotel, they'll make sure the guests have a view/can walk around the grounds. An AirBnB, you're on your own. Their place seemed to be near the water and dense woods, if it were a hotel, it's probably a reasonable bet to take a jaunt down, watch the sunset, and walk back to the room. Nothing about this indicates they were actually taking a hike. I am just thrilled they were found, and there is plenty of time to talk of other things later. But I do think it is potentially another AirBnB buyer beware situation.


8 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 23, 2020 at 8:43 pm

"What is the time limit for the “Breaking News” banner? They were found yesterday morning."

It's up to the editor. I generally read the banner when I first see it, when it's breaking news for me, then if I see it again later I figure it's not breaking news for me anymore but it's still breaking news for the people who haven't read it yet, and I let it go. Hope that answers your question.


8 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 24, 2020 at 12:31 am

Tax dollars, not tax dollars .... so what if it was tax dollars?

The people complaining about taxes are always the ones with the most dollars who are the same ones in power to manipulate the economy to suit them and NOT using the tax dollars we have effectively purposefully to make everyone hate and resent taxes and feel they are a rip-off.

These folks pretend to be anti-socialists, but could more accurately be labels anti socialists in that they are related to the same group that claims society is a fiction. Only when it is outside their little power group does society become a fiction.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2020 at 8:57 am

Posted by Family, a resident of Barron Park

(As for the "tax dollar" comments -- there is an internet word for someone making such a comment. Ignore the ____.)

>> It doesn't sound like they really went out on a hike, it sounds like they just went out to catch the sunset and got lost in the waning light.

Happens quite often. People go out for a walk and get caught out.

Another thing that can happen in the California coastal ranges is that people accidentally follow deer tracks that intersect trails, and, get stuck behind Manzanita thickets. People have gotten stuck this way where the main trail was only 100 feet away, but, impossible to reach through the Manzanita. IOW, you don't have to be "on a hike", just on a short stroll and confused by a deer track.

It sounds like the location they were picked up is identified. Could someone post the coordinates, so that we look look at the area on a map? I do hope someone will dissect what happened and explain how it evolved. We all can learn from incidents like this.



19 people like this
Posted by KTVU watcher
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 24, 2020 at 9:22 am

The rescuers have been interviewed this morning on KTVU news. The young man is 18 years old and a high school senior, having done this rescue work for 3 years. The dog handler and dog were out looking for remains, not expecting to find them alive.

These two are the real heroes of society.


4 people like this
Posted by Ian Irwin's Thumb
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 24, 2020 at 9:39 am

That's one hell of a thumbs up! Happy to see them safe and home.


2 people like this
Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 24, 2020 at 12:57 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 24, 2020 at 5:11 pm

@Anon, best I can tell, Shell Beach is lat 38.1173 N, lon 122.8745 W, maybe 1/2 mile from the cottage. Shallow Beach is 0.6 mile further north at 38.1233, 122.8820 (note 0.0001 deg is around 30 feet). Johnstone Trail is shown uphill/inland from Shell Beach towards the Shallow Beach creek drainage. Helicopter tracking data were erratic on that scale, but looked like transfer to ambulance waiting on nearby Pierce Point Road.


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