MARIN COUNTY — A six-hour search for a missing hiker on Mount Tamalpais ended Saturday night when the hiker left the woods above Mill Valley and hailed a cab.
Sean Dodd, 40, of Napa was reported missing at 1:30 p.m. Saturday near the railroad grade of the Corte Madera trail above Mill Valley. More than 39 search and rescue personnel, including five sheriff's deputies, five rangers from four different agencies, six firefighters from two departments and three dog teams, spent six hours combing the mountain before locating Dodd about 7:30 p.m.
"He was ultimately able to make his way down to surface streets, where he summoned a taxi to deliver him back to his car," said Michael St. John, search and rescue coordinator for the Mill Valley Fire Department. "There he encountered our incident personnel."
Search and rescue teams were also looking for a group of 12 hikers from the East Bay who were additionally reported missing on Mount Tamalpais. That group was also able to find its way out of the woods and contact rescue personnel, St. John said.
"One of the things that was a common denominator in both of these incidents was the fact that it's getting dark earlier. We're right at the solstice, and it's pretty dark by 5 p.m.," St. John said. "We encourage people to plan accordingly, to make sure they've completed their hike before it gets dark and to bring a map and flashlight along. The most important thing is to tell people where they are going."
Neither the Marin County Search and Rescue Team nor its member agencies charge groups or individuals for the cost of a rescue, St. John said.
"We feel charging would discourage people from seeking help," he said.