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East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue



For more information please call Novalene Thurston, Chairman at 936-521-9935

Ron Filmore of East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue

     On the evening of November 11, 2017 East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue became aware of a missing older man (Frank Roth) near Grapeland, TX being looked for by the Houston County Sheriff's Office.   The gentleman had last been seen about 4 PM the afternoon of the previous day walking his dog near the lake located at the Grapeland Country Club area.  The next day, the 11th, a search was instituted.  Apparently foot patrols, dogs, and a helicopter were deployed, primarily in areas and homes in close proximity to the lake.  Divers were also used to search parts of the lake.  Neither the man nor his dog were located.
     Upon learning of the situation ETMSAR contacted the Houston County Sheriff's Office and volunteered to assist in the search.  The offer was accepted and ETMSAR was asked to be on site by 9 AM Sunday morning, the 12th.   The calls then went out to ETMSAR members to arrive at the location by 8:30 AM the next morning.
     Arriving ETMSAR members were met by a Deputy Sheriff who briefed them on the missing man and his dog. He was described as in his 70s, wearing a navy blue sweater, and blue jeans.  Also, he suffered Parkinson disease, and other limitations.  The dog was described as a Sheltie and had not been located either.   To ETMSAR this was a good indication the man was still alive as the dog was most likely still with the man.  
     By 9 AM 8 riders had shown up, as well as the ETMSAR Ground Support trailer and 5 Ground Support personnel.  Within a half hour the trailer was set up and radios distributed to the riders, along with one to the Deputy so he would be able to monitor ETMSAR transmissions.   It turned out ETMSAR was the only search group to take the field.
     The 8 riders were divided into two search teams of 4 riders each.  One was assigned the call sign “Alfa”, the other “Zulu” for communications clarity.  By 10 AM both teams started out toward the area the missing man and dog had been seen over 40 hours previously.  At that point the two teams went in different directions. 
     The Game Warden on location advised the Zulu team an area to the southwest had numerous clearings in the timber and underbrush, and he didn't think it had been searched.  So that team made its way to the specified location.
     Upon arriving the area the horses were ridden in a search line with the riders on each end paying close attention to the underbrush on both sides of the clearing.  As soon as each clearing was cleared, the riders moved on to the next one.  At about 10:45 AM a rider spotted a sweater laying in the grass matching the description of the one worn by the missing man.  The ETMSAR Ground Support Command Trailer was immediately notified by radio of the find along with the co-ordinates of the location, and that all available personnel should proceed to that location as it was the proper area to search.   At that time two riders were dispatched back toward the lake area to lead the Sheriff's Deputy and others to the site.  Less than 2 or 3 minutes later one of the two riders remaining with the sweater announced on the radio that she had found the man and dog.  Both alive! 
     As soon as it was made known that an ambulance with EMS would be dispatched to the location 2 riders returned to the main road by the lake to lead the ambulance to the location.  Meantime, brush and brambles were cut away to gain better access to the man.  Upon the arrival of the ambulance it was decided the subject should be airlifted by helicopter to an area hospital. 
     The members of ETMSAR were elated to have not only found the missing man and dog, but even more so that they were alive. 

To: East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue

     We are especially (underlined) grateful for  your seeking and finding our dear friend of many year ~ FRANK ROTH.
     We are enclosing a gift in his name, in thanksgiving for your divinely led success in rescuing him and blessing all of us who "rode with you in prayer." Use it for whatever you need ~ and save some for ice cream and hay! God bless each of you as you serve so faithfully. You matter (underlined)  - a lot !!! (double underlined)  
     We thank God for each of you and for your tireless, selfless efforts to find the lost, give hope to those who are  waiting for their miracle, and for being His instruments of love and mercy. You are angels on horseback, going where others cannot go and seeking the lost who cannot save themselves.  Philippians 1:3.

Gordon and Dale Sibley



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