Contact your local law enforcement agency to report a missing person or other emergencies.

The Humboldt County Search & Rescue Team

At 2.3 million acres (~4,052 square miles), Northern California’s Humboldt County is roughly the size of Connecticut with 110 miles of coastline. There are abundant Federal, State, and County parks available for recreation of all kinds (hiking, fishing, and hunting).


Usually these excursions go well but, sometimes, problems arise and the public requires assistance. This is where our Search and Rescue (SAR) team comes into play.  When needed, the Sheriff’s Department will dispatch us to assist in search efforts. Our group can organize personnel and equipment for land or water rescues depending on the type of emergency. Currently, we have 33 active members on our team ready to respond 24/7.

During a search, a deputy from the Sheriff’s department is designated as the “Incident Commander” (IC).  The IC then develops an operation plan with the assistance of SAR team search managers. Once a plan is created the SAR team is given their assignments. We deploy our personnel in teams of two or more depending on the search parameters.


While some searches are planned, such as an evidence search, most are not such as the
case with a lost hiker. Once we have been “called-out”, we meet and prepare equipment needed at our main quarters in Eureka.  Members who live in outlying areas of the County typically respond in their personal vehicles or meet the team in transit which allows for the quickest response time.

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Brief History

   The Humboldt County Search and Rescue (SAR) team was established in 1950.  It was primarily an all-mounted group (Humboldt County Sheriff’s Posse) but, over the
years, it has grown into what it is today with a ground unit, a marine unit, as well as a
mounted unit.


This group is staffed entirely by volunteer community members and we are able to operate thanks to the generosity of private citizens and local businesses here in Humboldt County.