One of the earliest search and rescue groups to organize in the State of Texas, Montgomery County Search & Rescue Team (MOCSAR), was established in 1984 by a group of county residents interested in helping others.
MOCSAR is recognized throughout Montgomery County and Texas for its dedication to the community, commitment to and expertise in SAR operations, as well as its high standards for membership and training. Members of the team are professionally trained in specialized areas such as man-tracking, ground search and black water diving. Other members of the team use specially trained dogs and horses to facilitate tracking efforts as well as all terrain vehicles. Types of missions include lost persons, drowning victims, hiking accidents, swift-water and wilderness rescue.
MOCSAR is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit corporation operating solely on donations it receives from fund raisers, private citizens, local businesses, and government grants. No team member ever accepts or is paid for his or her services. If you would like to make a donation to MOCSAR, please email us at [email protected] or complete the online donation page.
SOME OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY SEARCH AND RESCUES WORK IN THE PAST
By Jamie Nash
Kirsten Rye, 5, and her brother, Andrew, 4, went missing around 7 p.m. Friday from their yard near the intersection of Mt. Zion and Bilnoski Road. When the children were found, around 4 a.m. Saturday, they told rescuers they were trying to pet a horse and got lost.
Joe Hakkinen, with Montgomery County Search and Rescue, said the children were located in a “high meadow” about three miles from their house.
“Grass there was about three or four feet high,” Hakkinen said.
He yelled Andrew’s name, as searchers had done throughout the night, and got a response.
“He said, ‘I’m coming,'” Hakkinen said.
Agencies first responding to the scene included North Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Montgomery County EMS, who were soon joined by civilian search groups, Texas Equusearch and the U.S. Coast Guard, who supplied a helicopter for the search.
North Montgomery County Fire Chief Bob Robinson said those who arrived first searched the property and adjoining properties with no sign of the children. When it began to get dark, he started calling for additional assistance.
Robinson said members of Texas Equusearch and Montgomery County Search and Rescue responded quickly and combined efforts to make a large search team.
“They came from West Houston, Katy, Dickinson, Coldspring – and they never questioned anything, they just came – and even those driving the longest distances were here within an hour and a half,” Robinson said.
Tim Miller, with Texas Equusearch, said a hasty search was initially performed, and his 26-person team was even more concerned after finding areas where there water.
“We brought our sonar equipment in case we need to get in the water,” Miller said. “We’ve got a lot of people out here, but it’s very, very dark and we’ve got two very small children.”
Miller said the foliage was extremely dense.
“It’s two small children in a huge national forest,” he said. “Every minute that goes by, we fear more and more that something bad could’ve happened to them.”
Miller and the other groups were already planning their daylight strategies, vowing that nobody was going home until the children were found when news arrived that they were located.
The children were dehydrated and Andrew got into some poison oak, but they were fine otherwise, Robinson said.