Survival Weekly – 10/6/14…


Featured – 

Five days, five rescues –

Man in inflatable bubble  rescued by Coast Guard –

Hiking – 

Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Rangers Deal With Multiple Same Day Incidents

Rangers and flight crews were kept busy on Wednesday, September 24th, as seven people were evacuated from the canyon via helicopter in seven separate incidents:

  • A 53-year-old woman on a private river trip with cardiac problems was evacuated from the National Canyon area.
  • A 69-year-old woman on a commercial river trip who’d suffered a femur fracture was short-hauled via helicopter from Havasu Creek to a landing zone near the Colorado River for evacuation to the South Rim.
  • A 33-year-old man from a private river trip was evacuated from the mouth of Havasu Creek after suffering a serious laceration in the groin area.
  • A 43-year-old female backpacker with an acute abdomen (appendicitis) was evacuated from Phantom Ranch.
  • A 29-year-old man with cardiac issues was extracted from the North Rim developed area.
  • A 52-year-old male backpacker with a leg injury was evacuated from the Nankoweap area.
  • A 51-year-old woman on a commercial river trip with a knee injury was evacuated from the Nankoweap area.

In addition to the medevacs, there were several other incidents, including:

  • a flipped and stuck raft below Crystal Rapids that necessitated four rangers and two sling loads of equipment flown in to begin a two-day recovery operation;
  • a warrant/intoxication arrest in the South Rim developed area;
  • an intoxicated and possibly suicidal person approximately a mile and a half down the Bright Angel Trail; and
  • a hyponatremic 65-year-old woman treated and transported via NPS ambulance from the South Rim after attempting to hike rim to rim in a day.

Rangers Abby Confer and Peter Maggio served as the incident commanders for the majority of these incidents.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Search In Progress For Missing Hikers

A search is underway in and around the Cedar Grove area for Rommel and Marisol Pompa, who failed to return from their backpacking trip as scheduled on Monday, October 29th. They planned to hike the Rae Lakes Loop, departing from Cedar Grove on the Woods Creek trail and returning via the Bubbs Creek trail.

In addition to teams on foot, searchers are using the park helicopter and horse patrols. There were 15 searchers hiking trails within the search area and interviewing other hikers yesterday.

The 32-year-old Rommel Pompa is described as 6 feet tall and weighing 160 pounds, with short, light brown hair and brown eyes. Marisol Pompa is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, and has shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes.

Any hikers who may have seen or come in contact with either or both of them should call the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Incident Command Post at 559-565-3341 or 888-677-2746.

Couple found –

Zion National Park (UT)
Storm Causes Significant Flooding; Hiker Dies In Narrows

On September 27th, 1.9 inches of rain fell on Zion National Park, including 1.27 inches which fell over a three hour period beginning at 10:30 a.m. The North Fork of the Virgin River rose from a flow of 52 cubic feet per second (cfs) at 10 a.m. to a peak of over 4000 cfs at 1 p.m. The associated flooding forced the closure of the Zion Mount Carmel Highway (Route 9) as well as the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive from late morning through late afternoon.

On the morning of the 27th, the National Weather Service forecast indicated a 90% chance of rain in Zion Canyon, with heavy rain possible. The flash flood potential rating was at the highest level of concern, and many slot canyons were expected to experience flash flooding.

Two men from California drove up Zion Canyon instead of using the required shuttle bus and began hiking upstream from the Temple of Sinawava Trailhead at 8 a.m.  Rain started to fall on the pair while they were in the Zion Narrows, but they continued a short distance up the canyon.  They eventually turned around due to concern with the weather, but were trapped by the rising river on separate river benches 200 feet apart about a quarter mile north of the end of the paved Riverside Walk.

Both men were on high ground and safe from the swollen river and waited for most of the day for the flood waters to drop. They were able to see each other but were unable to communicate due to the noise of the river.  Late in the afternoon, the downstream hiker believed that he could not survive the night because of hypothermia and decided to risk swimming the river, which was still flowing at a rate of about 1000 cfs.  He made it to safety and reported to rangers that his companion was safe and on high ground.

Due to the continued high flows, it was impossible for rangers to check on the condition of the stranded hiker. Early on the morning of September 28th, rangers learned that the reporting party had hiked back into the Narrows to the point where he had last seen his companion but was not able to locate him.

A large search team was mobilized and the team located the body of the missing hiker at 2 p.m. on the bank of the river near the Riverside Walk about a mile downstream from the point where he was last seen.

Missing camper found –

Lost hiker found –

Lost hikers rescued –

Injured hiker rescued –

Missing hikers rescued –

Search expands for missing Alzheimer’s camper –

Climbing – No stories this week

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Missing hunter found –

Fishermen rescued –

Water safety – 

Crews search for missing diver –

Teams search for boy swept into ocean –

Good samaritans rescue boating party –

Vehicles – 

Marine killed in Osprey crash –

Helicopter crash –

Urban – 

SAR teams mobilize for missing girl report –

USAR responds to stuck window washers –

Missing women found –

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