Three children rescued from Clam Gulch bluff

Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Making rescues from the faces of cliffs may not seem an everyday occurrence to some, but for Matthew Lowe and Timothy Koerber, it was clearly all in a day's work.

That may be how the father of one of the three children they apparently saved at the Clam Gulch bluffs last Saturday views it, also.

"The kids wanted to go over the bluff," said Duane Whitely, father of Taylor Whitely, one of the children pulled to safety. "I told them it was dangerous. I guess they got tired."

Lowe and Koerber said that they had been to visit with the families of the three children, Taylor Whitely, 8, Jesse Shell, 10, and Anthony Shell, 9, earlier in the day. The children went out to go exploring, taking one of a set of walkie-talkies and leaving the other behind. Later, the children called Lowe and Koerber on the walkie-talkie to tell them they were stuck.

Having tracked them to the cliffs, Lowe heard them crying and decided to free-hand down the bluff. After he got down to where the children were, he realized there was no way to get back up again because of the ice. He called to Koerber, who went back and got a rope. Koerber climbed down the ridge and wound the rope around a tree.

"I brought one of the kids up on my back," Lowe said.

Lowe wasn't sure just how long the children had been there, but said that he knew they had been stuck for a while.

Koerber said that Lowe had received the majority of the bruises when he slid down the icy bluff into some alders while going after the children.

They discovered the children at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and spent about two hours bringing them up.

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