Sometimes the difference between a half-day day ordeal and a six day nightmare is a a couple ounces or a hundred bucks. Itineraries (free), signal mirrors ($10), flashlight ($10), whistles ($5), PLB’s ($100 w/rebate), orange garbage bags ($1), good clothing ($100), etc. do not fit into the “romantic” notions of wilderness survival.
Well this week, Survival Weekly is going to take a dump on romance with a first person account of a six day ordeal. Thanks to Mike for sending me the link.
Injured hiker rescued. PLB and flashlight used for signalling –
“The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was notified of Smilenski’s potential situation via a Personal Locator Beacon, which is similar to locating devices used on aircrafts, but are for personal use. Smilenski was located by the helicopter just after 10 p.m. as he was flashing some kind of light to signal rescuers.”
Rescued hiker tells story of six day ordeal (with video) –
“On Thursday, he saw helicopters — but they didn’t see him. Two flew over him several times, he said. “It was kind of wrenching.”
“In the future, Hein plans to carry a reflective mirror, which can be used to signal rescue aircraft; a satellite-linked device, which can be used to alert rescuers about a location; and more medical supplies and gear.”
Body of missing hiker found – http://icelandreview.com/news/2014/07/16/body-woman-found-canyon
SAR launched for missing hiker – http://globalnews.ca/news/1454256/search-and-rescue-crews-looking-for-comox-valley-hiker-missing-since-july-8/
Paraglider rescued from open water (with video of operation) – http://www.breakingnews.ie/discover/gbmhgbmhqloj/
Hiker rescued from quicksand – http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865606926/Grand-County-search-crews-rescue-woman-from-quicksand-recover-hikers-body.html
Arches National Park (UT)
High Temperatures Cause Series Of Heat-Related Emergencies
The park experienced a series of heat-related medical emergencies involving seven visitors and one employee within a period of just over 24 hours last weekend. High temperatures both days were in the 100 to 104 degree range. Of this total, three were taken by ambulance to a local hospital and a fourth was flown to another hospital in Grand Junction. The remaining four were treated and released.
Just before 2 p.m., on Saturday, July 12th, rangers received a report of a woman having a heart attack on the Delicate Arch viewpoint trail. The first rangers to arrive were unable to find her on the trail, but were soon flagged down by the occupants of a vehicle near Wolfe Ranch. Two men inside who’d just come off that trail were suffering from heat exhaustion. They were treated by park personnel and Grand County EMS.
Around 8:30 that evening, a report was received of an unconscious man near Delicate Arch. Park, Grand County SAR and Grand County EMS personnel responded, hiking a mile and a half up from the trailhead. The man was treated for heart issues arising from heat stroke throughout the rescue and litter carryout. He was taken to Moab Regional Hospital
EMS incidents resumed the following afternoon when rangers received a report of an unconscious man near Delicate Arch. Park and Grand County personnel again responded, treated the man on scene, and littered him out to the trailhead. He refused further treatment and transportation to the hospital.
While the above rescue was in progress, an interpretive ranger preparing for a guided hike reported coming up an unconscious man in the Fiery Furnace parking lot. The responding ranger found an incoherent man with tingling in his arms and legs. A woman in the car was suffering from severe headache and cramping. Both were taken by ambulance to the hospital.
A third EMS emergency was reported while the above incidents were underway. Around 4:30 p.m., the same ranger who’d called in the above incident was leading the guided hike when a visitor collapsed. The ranger reported that the woman was unconscious and that she could not obtain a radial pulse. EMS personnel who were still in the Fiery Furnace parking lot headed down the trail. The woman was assessed and found to be suffering from heat stroke. She was flown by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.
Finally, at the conclusion of the Delicate Arch carryout, one member of the park SAR team was treated on scene for heat exhaustion.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (GA)
Rangers Save Three From Drowning In River
Rangers Paul Forward and Chris Calkins and Supervisory Ranger Sean Perchalski were patrolling Diving Rock, one of the park’s busiest areas, on the evening of July 6th when Forward spotted a man in the middle of the river who appeared to be in distress.
The man went under several times as two other visitors struggled to keep him afloat. He then began to pull both of them underwater.
Forward threw them a lifeguard rescue tube and a throw bag, but the people in the water couldn’t reach them. Perchalski then threw a life vest and a second throw bag, which they were able to grab and use to stay afloat. The rangers then pulled all three to shore.
The 22-year-old man who’d originally gotten into trouble was checked out by EMS, but declined further treatment at a medical facility. The other two were extremely fatigued but otherwise okay.
This area has been the scene of several drownings in the past few years by people who’ve tried unsuccessfully to swim across the river. The most recent was on June 9th, when a 24-year-old man drowned while swimming across the river at the same exact location. The river is approximately 175 feet across at this point.
Earlier that day, rangers had discussed what they would do if this exact situation were to occur.
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
One Climber Killed, Another Injured In Separate Incidents
A climbing accident on the 13,770-foot Grand Teton resulted in the death of one member of a guided climbing party on Monday, July 14th.
Mary Bilyeu, 43, of Edmond, Oklahoma, was ascending to the Upper Saddle of the Grand Teton (elevation 13,160 feet) with her climbing partner and a guide from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides when she fell while negotiating a short section above the Exum Gully around 8:30 a.m.
Rangers were notified of the accident at 8:40 a.m. and a rescue response was quickly begun. Two rangers on routine patrol on the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton (11,600 feet) climbed to the accident site to begin emergency medical care and prepare the injured climber for a helicopter evacuation.
Bilyeu was unresponsive when park rangers arrived on scene and could not be revived. She was pronounced dead in consultation with the park’s medical director and rangers on scene. Other Jackson Hole Mountain Guides staff responded to the area and escorted Bilyeu’s climbing partner to the Corbet High Camp near the Lower Saddle, and later escorted her to Lupine Meadows trailhead on the valley floor.
The circumstances leading to this climbing accident are under investigation by Grand Teton National Park rangers and no further details are available at this time.
Rangers began to coordinate a body recovery on the Grand Teton when Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a second emergency call at approximately 11 a.m. from a hiking party near Paintbrush Divide.
Silas Peterson of Santa Fe, New Mexico fell while descending Paintbrush Divide into Paintbrush Canyon and sustained multiple injuries. Although Peterson was using an ice axe, he slid down a steep snow-covered slope, could not self-arrest, and fell an additional 150 feet through steep loose rock.
Peterson’s hiking partner called 911 to report the accident. Another party ascending from Paintbrush Canyon witnessed the event and also called 911. That party then hiked to Peterson to provide first aid until rescuers arrived.
A Teton Interagency contract helicopter readied to assist with the rescue operations on the Grand Teton was diverted to transport rescuers to Paintbrush Divide. Two rangers were short-hauled to the Divide from the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache, and they descended snow and rock to reach Peterson at 11:45 a.m. A rescue litter was also flown to the scene.
Peterson was provided emergency medical care and evacuated from Paintbrush Divide via short-haul with a ranger attending. Upon arriving at Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache, Peterson was treated by the park’s medical director before being transported at approximately 1:15 p.m. via an Air Idaho life-flight helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho for further medical care. Peterson and his partner were on the final day of a six day Teton Crest Trail backpacking trip.
Both rescue operations were affected by the forecast and subsequent arrival of severe thunderstorms that pummeled the Teton Range and Jackson Hole valley with lightning strikes and several waves of rain, hail and high winds.
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Woman Dies In Snake River Rafting Accident
A rafting accident on the Snake River resulted in the death of one member of a private boating party on the evening of Sunday, July 13th.
A 63-year-old Jackson woman was riding in a rubber raft just north of the Moose Landing with five other people, including her husband, when the raft hit a mid-stream obstruction, overturned, and spilled all six rafters into the river.
After the raft flipped, five of the boaters were able to reach a gravel bar in the middle of the river. A passing private raft picked up the stranded boaters and floated them the remaining three-quarters of a mile to the Moose Landing, where they were met by park rangers and emergency medical providers. The woman, though, was caught in the fast-moving current and swept downstream.
Bystanders near the Dornan’s landing on the east bank of the Snake River saw something floating in the water and determined that it was a person. They quickly reached the riverbank, pulled the woman out of the water, and started CPR in an attempt to revive her. Paramedics took over and continued for 45 minutes, but couldn’t revive her.
Numerous rangers and EMTs responded to both the Moose Landing and Dornan’s to rescue the boaters and provide medical care. The circumstances leading to this rafting accident are under investigation.