Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)
Visitor Seriously Injured When Thrown By Mule
On Saturday, July 26th, rangers received an emergency call reporting that a trail rider had been thrown by a mule during a guided trip on the Peekaboo loop trail and been seriously injured.
Rangers assembled a rescue team that included personnel from Garfield County EMS and Tropic Fire and Rescue. A medical team determined that an air evacuation would be needed, as the nearest trauma center is four hours away and the accident had occurred two-and-a-half miles from the nearest trailhead.
A Classic Lifeguard helicopter from Page, Arizona, flew to the park and picked up the injured visitor at a landing zone established by rescuers. The injured visitor was taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah, for treatment for a pelvis fracture and shattered collarbone.
Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)
Lightning Strike Injures Park Visitor
The park received a report last Monday of a visitor down and unconscious and in need of medical assistance on the Rim Trail. A storm had recently passed through the area, bringing heavy rain and lightning.
Rangers began a hasty search along the trail and found the visitor suffering seizures off to the side of the trail between Sunset and Inspiration Points. Initial signs and symptoms indicated that the visitor had likely been the victim of lightning side splash, as a tree several feet away had recently been struck by lightning.
An ambulance from Garfield County EMS was soon on scene. The patient was transferred to the burn unit at University of Utah Medical Center for further care.
Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Missing Hiker Found By Searchers
On the morning of Monday, July 28th, the park received a call advising that a 56-year-old Illinois man was overdue from a climb of Longs Peak.
He’d planned on summiting the peak on the east side on Sunday. Around 4:30 p.m., he called his family and told them that he’d be late getting back to the trailhead. When he failed to show up or call again, they contacted the park.
Members of the park’s search and rescue team began looking for him on Monday morning, retracing what they assumed was his intended route. Just before noon, the man called his family; he said that he was okay, but that he’d had to spend the night on the peak due to severe weather and nightfall. He then resumed his descent in heavy fog in the morning and became lost. He also reported that he might be on Mount Meeker.
A helicopter was brought in to assist in the search and spotted the man below Peacock Pool in the Roaring Fork drainage late in the afternoon. Rangers were nearby and reached him 15 minutes later. He declined medical evaluation and evacuation by helicopter, saying that he wanted to hike out on his own. Ranger led him back to the trail and gave him directions to the trailhead.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Missing 13-Year-Old Hiker Found By Searchers
On the evening of July 28th, the parks’ trail crew found a missing 13-year-old boy who had been separated from his hiking party while in the Arrow Peak (elevation 12,959 feet) area of Kings Canyon National Park on Sunday, July 27th.
The boy stayed overnight at the trail crew camp until he was airlifted out of the Bench Lake area of the park yesterday morning. Prior to the flight, a park medic evaluated him and found him to be uninjured and in good condition.
Dispatch received a call about the missing hiker from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office around 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon. The hiking party had departed from Taboose Pass in the Inyo National Forest and was headed for Bench Lake and Arrow Peak in Kings Canyon National Park.
A search began later that day. Among those participating in the operation were 25 National Park Service staff from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks who searched by ground and helicopter, conducted interviews, and planned for the next day’s operation.
Incident operations concluded yesterday with 28 NPS employees involved, primarily in getting the boy to the helicopter landing zone and returning searchers to their normal work locations.
Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River (NY,PA)
Man Survives Near Drowning In Delaware River
On the afternoon Saturday, July 26th, rangers responded to a non-fatal drowning, often referred to as a near drowning, that occurred at Staircase Rapids.
The victim was a young man who’d entered the water to swim from one raft to another. He was not wearing a life jacket and according to his companions was intoxicated.
A man in the raft that the victim was swimming toward saw him struggling in the water. He did not know the victim (they had only met that day), but asked others in the raft who did know him if they thought he was alright or needed help. They said that he was okay and that he knew how to swim.
The man in the raft saw the victim’s head bob under the water, though, and believed, correctly, that he was in the process of drowning. He entered the water, wearing his life jacket, swam to the victim and brought him to the Pennsylvania shoreline. The victim was conscious but displaying an altered mental state; it is unclear if this was due to the drowning or intoxication or a combination of both.
The rescuer then swam back across the river to the New York shoreline and ran to Kittatinny Canoes’ Staircase Rapids base and had them call 911.
Park protection rangers responded via patrol boat along with local police constables and fire and EMS personnel. Lumberland Volunteer Fire Department’s boat was first on scene and took the victim to the ambulance that was waiting at Kittatinny Canoe’s base. The victim was transported to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis, where he was treated and released.
The incident is under investigation.
Lake Mead NRA – NV, AZ
Rangers Rescue Kayaker From Lake Mohave
Around 5 p.m. on July 24th, park dispatch received a call reporting that a man was struggling in the water near Nelson’s Landing on Lake Mohave. Rangers responded by boat and found the man floating motionless, holding onto a kayak.
The man said he was trying to swim across to the Arizona shoreline when the wake of a personal watercraft threw him from his kayak. He claimed he became separated from his life jacket, but no life jacket was found. He also claimed he was floating for around 30 minutes and that no bystanders offered to help.
Witnesses said he was floating in the water for between one and one-and-a-half hours and that an individual tried to rescue him, but that he refused assistance. They also said they did not see him wearing a life jacket.
Winds were 10 to 15 mph, creating six- to twelve-inch waves. Attempting to cross the lake while holding on to a kayak with no life jacket available was extremely hazardous to both the man and to boaters operating in the area. The man ended up more than a quarter mile north of his starting location and approximately 300 yards from shore.
Over the course of the preceding three days, three swimmers drowned in the park. None of them was wearing a life jacket.
Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Seriously Injured Man Rescued From Backcountry
On the afternoon of July 25th, the park received a cell phone call from a 31-year-old man who reported that he’d fallen an unknown distance while glissading down Gabletop Mountain and had sustained numerous injuries.
The Forest Service helicopter employed earlier in the day for a body recovery from Longs Peak was utilized for aerial reconnaissance. Using cell phone GPS coordinates, rangers were able to determine his general location below Gabletop Mountain; the helicopter’s crew provided his exact location.
A rescue operation was begun. Four rangers and rescue equipment were flown to Loomis Lake between severe thunderstorms. They then hiked to his location, a steep cirque above the lake at an altitude of around 11,300 feet, arriving just after midnight. The injured man greatly aided in his rescue by moving down a steep band of rock, then down a steep snow field toward the rangers.
The rangers found that the man was ambulatory, but that he was suffering from life-threatening injuries. They lowered him 500 feet with ropes and then assisted him an additional 700 feet down steep mountainous terrain to Loomis Lake. A paramedic on the park’s rescue team provided advanced life support throughout the incident.
The man was flown to Beaver Meadows Road, then taken by a Flight for Life helicopter to St. Anthony’s Hospital for further treatment.
Park rescue team members feel this was truly a life-saving mission. The man was fortunate to have cell phone coverage in this remote location, which has very limited coverage.
Glacier National Park
Hiker Shoots Bear On Park Trail
A 57-year-old Texas man was hiking alone on the Mt. Brown Lookout trail last Saturday morning when a bear charged him from below the trail. The man used his bear spray on him, then shot the bear with one round from a handgun he was carrying. Indications are that he hit the bear, which then ran away.
The hiker then headed back to the trailhead, encountering a volunteer backcountry ranger on the trail along the way. The volunteer notified park dispatch of the incident.
Rangers immediately closed the trial and began an investigation. They also staffed the trailhead in order to advise other visitors what had happened. Rangers and bear specialists began a search for the bear, which may be either a grizzly or a black bear.
The bear has not yet been found and the investigation is continuing. The trail remains closed.
Park visitors are encouraged to carry bear spray as a deterrent for a charging grizzly bear. No single deterrent is 100 percent effective, but compared to all others, including firearms, proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for fending off threatening and attacking bears and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved.
SAR for mising hikers – http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/trampers-missing-tararua-ranges/5/198151
Injured hiker rescued – http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_9e772828-167f-11e4-ad06-0019bb2963f4.html
Injured ATV rider rescued – http://www.nbcmontana.com/sports/atv-rider-rescued-in-gallatin-canyon-area/27181330
Ultra-runner’s dies from fall – http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20140728/NEWS01/140729588/Oregon-man-dies-near-Ice-Lakes-
Missing wildland firefighter found – http://www.kaj18.com/news/search-continuing-for-missing-wildland-firefighter-in-montana/
Birdwatcher forced to spend night out – http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58235942-78/canyon-search-lake-salt.html.csp
Multiple SAR’s in Tonto Rim – http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58235942-78/canyon-search-lake-salt.html.csp
Miscommunication prompts SAR- http://www.kelownanow.com/news/news/Local_News/14/07/30/COSAR_Search_Big_White_for_Missing_Man
Missing swimmer not located – http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/rcmp-and-search-and-rescue-members-scour-revelstoke-lake-for-missing-swimmer-1.1940831
ATV rider injured and rescued – http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_82a76a16-19dd-11e4-b44c-0017a43b2370.html
Injured climber rescued – http://fox13now.com/2014/08/02/search-and-rescue-crews-respond-to-man-who-fell-in-bell-canyon/
Injured climber rescued – http://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/120340/Climber-rescued-from-canyon
Injured hiker spotted by Life Flight crew – http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=30988748
Campers rescued from flash flood – http://kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_12968.shtml
Injured camper rescued after fall – http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Wolfe-County-rescue-crews-save-injured-person-at-Red-River-Gorge-269730841.html