Search resumes for missing Japanese man

Yosuke Onishi disappeared near Mount St. Helens in November of 2013

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office will resume the search for a Japanese man who was last seen near Mount St. Helens in November. The two-day search for Yosuke Onishi begins Saturday morning at the Marble Mountain Sno-Park in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

On Nov. 27, 2013, Onishi, 26, left the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar and reportedly got a ride from a couple to the Climbers Bivouac at the base of the mountain. He was reported missing when he didn’t return to the resort.

Search and rescue teams could not find him in the area, and investigators with the Skamania and Cowlitz County sheriff’s offices could not find the couple who gave him the ride from the Lakeside County Store across the street from the resort.

About 80 to 100 searchers, along with search dogs and technical rescue teams, will work together this weekend to try to find Onishi’s remains.

“We have a very formidable task ahead of us for the next two days,” said Undersheriff Dave Cox. “We will be searching approximately 18 square miles of rugged terrain that is very hazardous to our search personnel. We are extremely grateful to the many volunteer search and rescue members and the Southwest Washington Incident Management Team for assisting with this effort this weekend. We are hopeful we will bring closure to this incident for Mr. Onishi’s family and friends.”

Onishi traveled to the U.S. from Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. It was his first trip to Mount St. Helens, but not his first time mountaineering. His family came to Cougar and posted fliers after he went missing.

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