Survival Weekly – 8/18/14…


I am going to play with the format of Survival Weekly, so let me know how you like it in the comment section. I will separate the stories into categories so you can easily peruse ones related to your adventures and learn from them. Risk identification is a great step towards mitigation.

i.e. – My buddy Chuck sent me this video of hunters getting attacked by boars. I have seen enough cut up dogs to know the danger and I carry a small first aid kit that is set up to handle that kind of trauma in the unlikely event it was to happen on the job, but it is a good reminder to have that it on hand and see the type of wounds

I am also going to create a “Featured” story to highlight each week as a learning point. 

Featured – 

  • If you are a student of wilderness survival or follow this blog, you are probably aware that most SAR’s are usually resolved within 48 hours. After that they are usually a body recovery, because of a fatal injury, illness (dehydration or hypothermia), or suicide. It’s not that people start dying at the 48 hour mark, just that most people are rescued within that time frame or they are most likely already dead. This week however has two outliers. 
  • 3 year old survives 11 days in Taiga
  • Fisherman rescued after five day ordeal –
  • In the latter case, what gear do you have on you if you are separated from your pack or camp that will make life easier? Do you carry a Pocket Survival Kit (PSK) on you?

And finally, I am going to add a “news” section that will link to new gear coming out or other interesting stuff.

News – 

Hiking – 

  1. Fatal fall for hiker and bowhunter rescued –
  2. Overdue hiker rescued –!bFF2lF
  3. Horse team rescues injured hiker ––Search-and-Rescue-Horses/
  4. Lost hiker rescued –
  5. Injured hiker rescued –
  6. Lost autistic man found –
  7. Hikers resceued from swollen river –
  8. Injured hiker rescued –
  9. Hiker self-rescues after 2 day search –

Glacier National Park
Hiker Injured By Falling Boulder

Park personnel responded to a medical emergency along the Continental Divide Trail in the Siyeh area on Sunday, August 10th. 

Two hikers, a father and son from Alabama, were climbing down from Mount Siyeh when a boulder was dislodged. The 21-year-old son avoided the direct impact of the boulder, estimated as weighing about 200 pounds, but received injuries from the glancing blow of the rock and his subsequent 200 foot tumble.  He sustained lacerations to his head and chin, among other injuries.

In an attempt to summon aid, the father waved his arms while yelling. He then fired one gunshot toward a solid surface to indicate that an emergency was occurring.  Nearby hikers reported hearing the gunshot and yelling. One hiker aided the father and son as they began hiking out. 

Park personnel met them on the trail before the junction between Siyeh Pass Trail and Piegan Pass Trail. Two Bear Air hoisted them to West Glacier, where they were picked up by Three Rivers Ambulance and taken to North Valley Hospital in Whitefish.  

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (MI)
AED Used To Save Cardiac Arrest Victim

On the afternoon of August 4th, a local dispatch office received a 911 call of a man down with CPR in progress on the face of the Dune Climb. 

Rangers Nate Mazurek, Paul Chalup, Jennifer Langel and Glen Lake Fire Department personnel responded with an ALS ambulance and two utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) to gain access to the top of the dune. 

The victim, a 63-year-old Wisconsin man, was located approximately 100 feet up the face of the first dune.  Langel opened emergency access points for responding fire apparatus and Chalup served as communications relay, Visitor Use Assistant Diana Steele sprinted across the Dune Climb parking lot with an AED housed in the Dune Climb kiosk as Mazurek gathered EMS equipment and prepared to climb to the man’s location, arriving their ten minutes after the first 911 call.

Climbing – 

  1. Injured climber rescued –

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Seriously Injured Climber Rescued From Grand Teton

A climber sustained life-threatening injuries in an apparent fall while attempting to make a solo summit of the 13,770-foot Grand Teton on the morning of Friday, August 8th.

Despite dense clouds and bad weather, rangers were able to rescue Steve Markusen, 60, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the support of a Teton Interagency Fire helicopter.

Free climbing alone—without a climbing harness, rope or helmet—Markusen had reached an elevation of 13,300 feet on the Grand Teton and was climbing midway between the Friction Pitch and V-Pitch on the upper Exum Ridge route when the accident occurred. Although unable to recall exactly what happened, he believes he may have been struck by a rock, which caused him to fall or tumble possibly 100 feet down the steep, granite slabs strewn with loose rock that lies above the Friction Pitch. He incurred extensive traumatic injuries during his ‘tumbling’ fall. 

Two climbers in a separate party came upon Markusen, but did not have a cell phone to call for help. They continued to the summit of the Grand Teton, about 400 vertical feet beyond, where they located other climbers with a cell phone and called the Jenny Lake Ranger Station. In the meantime, another party of two climbers encountered Markusen and began to provide first aid as they also placed a 911 call.

About an hour later, while the park’s rescue operation was underway, a third climbing party with four firefighters from Boston, Massachusetts, also came upon Markusen and the two climbers who were assisting him. Two of the Boston climbers had medical training; they stayed with Markusen to provide advanced medical assistance until park rangers arrived. Due to the threat of an approaching storm, all the other climbers continued to the Grand’s summit. 

Because of the cloud cover high on the mountain, a ground-based rescue mission was begun. The helicopter flew seven rangers and a Teton Interagency Fire helitack crew member to the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton (elevation 11,600 feet), which was below the thick clouds. 

From the Lower Saddle, two rangers made a ‘blitz’ ascent with minimal gear to quickly reach the critically injured climber and begin emergency medical care. Four additional rangers carried all the equipment necessary for a possible extended ground rescue. Fortunately, a break in the weather made it possible to short-haul a ranger and a rescue litter to the accident site.

Markusen’s injuries were serious enough to warrant a life flight to Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls, but bad weather prevented the Air Idaho flight. Instead, Grand Teton rangers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics set up a temporary emergency room inside the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache to stabilize Markusen before transporting him by park ambulance to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming. Markusen arrived at the local hospital at 4:20 p.m., over five hours after his fall. 

Hunting/foraging – 

  1. Fatal fall for hiker and bowhunter rescued –
  2. Mushroom hunter rescued –
  3. I know Craig from my college days and here he recounts his fall and injuries from a deer stand

Watersports – 

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Search Underway For Missing Man

A search is underway for a young man from Georgia who was swept down the Yellowstone River near Tower Junction on Monday evening. 

Three young concession employees reportedly used inner tubes to float the Lamar River on Monday. Floating the river is prohibited by park regulations due to safety concerns.

Shortly after reaching the confluence of the Lamar and Yellowstone Rivers, two of the men got out of the water.  The third man, 22-year-old Darien Latty, was last seen about 7:30 p.m. Monday being propelled downstream by the rushing water, without either an inner tube or life jacket.

Initial search efforts Monday evening failed to turn up any sign of Latty, who is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. 

Search efforts were increased Tuesday, with a helicopter, three dog teams, and several small groups of people searching the Yellowstone River corridor from Tower Junction downstream to Gardiner, Montana.  Approximately 50 people had been dedicated to the search effort as of mid-afternoon Tuesday.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve (AK)
Rafter Dies In Tana River

The Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richards contacted NPS dispatch just after 7 a.m. last Sunday morning with a report of a missing rafter along the Tana River, a large glacial tributary of the Chitina River within the park.

According to the reporting party, Rob Kehrer, a resident of Mat-Su Borough in Alaska, had been thrown out of his pack raft and was last seen by his rafting partner around 1 pm, Saturday afternoon.

Aerial and ground search efforts were carried out by park  personnel in cooperation with the Alaska Air National Guard, pilots from Ultima Thule Lodge, and locally-hired ground searchers. The overall effort included three airplanes, two helicopters, eight ground searchers, and a National Park Service incident command team.

Kehrer’s body was located around 4 p.m. by the crew of the Alaska Air National Guard helicopter. It was two-and-a-half miles downstream from the location where he had last been seen. The body was taken to a hospital in Anchorage.

The Tana River is extremely cold, swift and known for large water and difficult rapids.

Saint Croix National Scenic River (WI)
Swimmer Drowns In Saint Croix River

On the evening of August 9th, three swimmers decided to swim to the Wisconsin side of the Saint Croix River and then back to the Minnesota river bank in the area of Landers Landing.  

One of the swimmers, a 28-year-old Minnesota man, slipped under the water on his return swim across the river.  He was not wearing a personal flotation device at the time.  

Rangers White, Trangsrud, Lundin and Christianson responded along with officials from the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department. Three boats were deployed in the search for the missing man. His body was recovered later that evening.  

Lake Mead NRA – NV, AZ
Visitor Drowns In Paiute Cove On Lake Mohave

The body of a 79-year-old California man was recovered from the waters of Lake Mohave near Paiute Cove on August 10th.

The park received a call that afternoon reporting that the man went into the water, began to struggle, and disappeared underwater. Rangers, Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens and Bullhead City Fire Department divers responded and recovered his body.

The Clark County medical examiner will confirm the victim’s identity and determine the cause of death. Witnesses reported that the man was not wearing a life jacket. The incident is under investigation.

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