Survival Weekly – 6/22/15



Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

Take a BPO Survival course and help decrease theFederal budget –

SAR map –

Escapees on the run –

News – 

Helicopters vs. parachutes

Drone stuff –

Water Safety – 

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Rescuers Respond To Two Incidents At Same Waterfall

Rangers and volunteer firefighters responded to incidents on consecutive days last week in which visitors were injured in cliff jumps from the Adams Creek waterfall.

Both victims were 20-year-old women from New Jersey and both received back injuries after jumping from a cliff about 40 feet above the pool at the base of the waterfall.

On June 10th, the park’s interagency high angle rescue team conducted a belayed carryout of the first injured woman; the June 11th incident did not require a technical rescue, as the woman was able to walk part of the way out to the trailhead.

These incidents marked the second and third injury incidents requiring rescues at Adams Creek this year. The creek has exploded in popularity among teenagers and young adults from as far away as Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the greater New York-New Jersey urban areas due to numerous YouTube posting of cliff jumping, swimming and partying there. See the first few videos at the link below.

An alcohol closure was put in place this year for the area, but that has not diminished its popularity. Park management is now considering an area closure.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA)
Woman’s Body Found On Park Beach

On the morning of June 4th, rangers responded to the report of a body washed ashore on the beaches below the Point Bonita Radar Station in the Marin Headlands.

The first ranger on scene determined the body was that of a woman, about 20 to 25 years old. Rangers, NPS lifeguards and Coast Guard personnel coordinated a recovery of the body from the beach. The lifeguards utilized a jet ski to transfer the body to a waiting Coast Guard vessel.

An investigation into the cause of death was undertaken by the Marin County Medical Examiner’s Office and Golden Gate’s Problem Solving Unit.

River SAR –

SAR for missing kayakers –

Swimmer rescued –

Body of rafter found –

Body of swimmer recovered –

River SAR –

Kayaker rescued

Missing tuber –

Swimmer’s body recovered –

Hiking – 

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Park SAR Team Rescues Injured Hiker

Park dispatch received a call early on the afternoon of June 8th reporting a hiker fall and injury in a steep off-trail area between Arch Rock and The Pool on the lower Fern Lake trail.

Search and rescue team members searched for four hours in a number of off-trail areas in an effort to find Rick Grigsby, 62, due to the generalized description he provided of his location.  Grigsby was eventually located at 5:45 p.m., when rangers heard his yells for help.  Grigsby had been exploring an extremely steep mud and rock slide area when he fell on rocks and suffered a leg injury.

SAR team members described the area as hazardous, with steep terrain, loose rock and burned and downed wood from the 2012 Fern Lake Fire. This landslide area had occurred in the spring of 2013. Park team members had difficulty finding stable locations to place anchors to perform a technical lowering down the steep gully.

Grigsby was initially lowered more than 1,000 feet to a high marshy meadow.  The second technical lowering took place over a steep 800-foot scree area.  He was then carried down the trail in a wheeled litter to the Fern Lake trailhead, reaching that location at 2:30 a.m.

Grigsby was travelling along and was fortunate to have cell phone coverage in the area where he fell.  Over 40 park SAR team members were involved in this incident.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Bear Injures Sleeping Camper

A park visitor stopped at the Ash Mountain Entrance Station in Sequoia National Park early on Wednesday morning to report an incident involving a bear and a camper at Potwisha Campground.

According to reports, a bear nudged a man in a sleeping bag and woke him up at a campsite there around 6:30 a.m. The bear then stepped on the man, who ran away. The bear followed him, then turned around to grab the man’s sleeping bag and drag it to the edge of the campsite. Other campers said that they banged pots and pans to scare the bear away.

The 25-year-old California man sustained minor injuries – lacerations to his back and a puncture wound. He declined further medical care by park staff.

Currently, park personnel are trying to locate the bear. Notices have been posted and campers contacted at Potwisha and Buckeye Flat campgrounds. Campground patrols have been increased. The incident is under investigation.

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –



Hunter-gatherer – 

Body of fisherman recovered –

Treasure hunters rescued –

Fishermen rescued –

Climbing – 

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Body Of Missing Climber Found And Recovered

The search for a missing Liberty Ridge climber came to an end on day two of the effort to find him with the discovery of his body just below the crater rim.

A joint air operation by personnel from the U.S. Army Reserve 214th Air Division and the park led to the location of what was suspected to be the body on day one. A photo of the target was analyzed that evening and determined to be worth further investigation. Plans were made for a ground team to investigate the location the following day. The target was indeed the body of a man fitting the description of the missing climber. It was carried by the ground team to the crater rim, then airlifted off the mountain.

The climber left his camp in extreme winds and low visibility to retrieve a stove left a short distance away. He and his two climbing partners had stopped at the confluence of the Winthrop and Emmons Glaciers at 14,200 feet during their descent from Liberty Cap. Extreme weather forced them to stop and seek shelter in a crevasse.

Thirty-nine park personnel were assigned over the course of the incident. Stefan Lofgren and Kraig Snure were the incident commanders.  Incident photos are available at the link below.

Injured climber and dispatcher transcript –

Off duty SAR team member dies in fall

Vehicles – 

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (AK)
Rangers Respond To Three Same Day Incidents

On June 10th, rangers responded to a report of an engine fire on the Glacier Bay Lodge tour vessel Baranof Wind.  The 79-foot daily sightseeing vessel had suffered a fire in the starboard engine room while transiting through the remote upper reaches of Glacier Bay.

Crew members on the Baranof Wind were able to extinguish the fire and called for assistance. The Holland America cruise ship Noordam was nearby and responded to the call; using a tender, the ship collected all 40 passengers and loaded them safely onto the Noordam and transferred them to the park dock.

At the same time, the Noordam requested assistance for a medical evacuation from the ship for a passenger who was suffering from a medical emergency.  Park staff assisted with the transfer and evacuation of the patient from the cruise ship and to a medevac helicopter.

Park staff then received notice from the Coast Guard that the 73-foot commercial fishing vessel Kupreanofwas taking on water off the outer coast of the park and rescued four crew members from a life raft.  The vessel then sank into the Gulf of Alaska.

Boaters rescued –

SAR for horse rider –

Boaters rescued –

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  –



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