Tag Archives: boater safety

Survival Weekly – 7/30/15…

smokies

image: http://www.wbir.com/story/news/2015/07/28/smokies-search-rescue-satellite-technology/30807611/

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 – 

Pilot stranded on ice floe – http://www.lfpress.com/2015/07/27/missing-helicopter-pilot-found-alive-and-well-on-ice-floe-military

Hiker with HAPE rescued – http://www.skyhidailynews.com/news/17480079-113/grand-county-search-and-rescue-saves-man-at

Search for missing teen boaters – http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2015/7/29/boat_of_missing_teen.html

Missing outdoor educator – http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Search-Crews-From-Three-Counties-Look-For-Missing-San-Francisco-Teacher-in-Eldorado-National-Forest-318535411.html

News – 

Sattelite messengers in Smokies – http://www.wbir.com/story/news/2015/07/28/smokies-search-rescue-satellite-technology/30807611/

Drone used in SAR – http://www.kcci.com/news/first-drone-searchandrescue-mission-for-missing-teacher/34441190

Inside Coast Guard rescues – http://counton2.com/2015/07/28/a-closer-look-at-coast-guard-search-and-rescue/

Water Safety – 

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
Child’s Life Saved Through Prompt EMS Response

On the morning of July 25th, park dispatch received a report of a three year-old found face down in approximately seven feet of water at the rear of a houseboat in Halls Creek Bay. The reporting party said that the child might have been in the water from five to ten minutes and was not breathing or conscious. The three-year-old was not wearing a life jacket on the houseboat when the incident occurred.

Responding rangers were on scene within 20 minutes and found that CPR was already in progress. Rangers took over patient care and transported the child to Bullfrog Marina to meet a park medic to receive advanced life support care. After initial ALS care, the child started to improve. The three-year-old was flown by Classic Lifeguard to a hospital and has since been released.

The extended CPR (over 45 minutes), breathing therapy, and advanced life support measures that were performed by park rangers along with Classic Lifeguard personnel saved the child’s life.

NPS responders included Jesse Benskin, Karol Jones, Noel Rupel, Sean McCaffrey, Valerie Reynolds and Zach Nelson.
Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River (NY,PA)
Man Rescued From Near Drowning

A 55-year-old man from Allentown, Pennsylvania, nearly drowned when his canoe capsized in Butler’s Rift on the afternoon of July 20th.

Two men were on a river cleanup when they saw a canoe capsize in Butler’s Rift.  They quickly paddled over in a canoe to assist the man and his son.  The man went unconscious and was under water.  The two men helped pull the body out of the water and onto the New York shoreline.  Additional family members and the two men on river cleanup performed CPR on the man for approximately five to eight minutes.

The man regained consciousness and was transported down river in a raft.  The Sparrowbush Fire Department’s boat met the raft by Cherry Island and transported the man to the awaiting Port Jervis ambulance.  He was not wearing a life jacket.

Buffalo National River – AR
Two Drown In Separate Incidents In Park

On the afternoon of July 12, 2015 Buffalo National River was contacted by Newton County 911 concerning a possible drowning at the confluence of Well’s Creek and Buffalo River. Rescue and medical personnel were dispatch to the area where they located the victim, Gary McClung III age 23. Mr. McClung and his wife had been swimming in the area when he decided to jump from a 15 foot bluff into the river. Mr. McClung’s wife heard her husband enter the water but did not see him jump as she was traversing the trail from the bluff to the gravel bar. She lost sight of Mr. McClung for a very short period of time but when she saw him again he was floating downstream face down.
She was able to wade into the water and pull him to shore where she began doing CPR. Very soon after she had begun, floaters rounded the bend, recognized the distress and quickly came to her aid. CPR was continued for some time but was unsuccessful and Mr. McClung was later pronounced dead at the scene. First on scene was Air Evac helicopter which was able to land on the gravel bar. At this time CPR had been suspended after approximately 30 minutes of continuous cycles which were unsuccessful.

Gary McClung III was a member of the Western Grove Volunteer Fire Department and leaves behind a wife and baby.

Personnel from Buffalo National River Search and Rescue team, Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Hasty Volunteer Fire Department, Tri-County Search and Rescue, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center EMS, Air Evac Lifeteam, Newton County Coroner’s Office and the Boone County Coroner’s Office assisted.

On the afternoon of July 20, 2015, Searcy County Sheriff’s Office contacted the park concerning a possible drowning of a five year old boy at Tyler Bend. Witnesses reported the child had on an inflatable float ring and was wading in a shallow portion of the river when he went under. The boy’s older brother alerted his father to the missing boy, who had stepped into a deep hole and slipped out of the float ring. The father was able to locate his son and bring him to shore.

Park Guide Terry Traywick, who is trained in CPR and is a CPR instructor, and Interpretive Ranger Joyce Umbach, responded to the location and found park visitors administering CPR. Terry immediately began assisting with the CPR and coaching the visitors. Off duty Emergency Dispatcher Joe Jones and his spouse were floating the river and came upon the scene and immediately began assisting with CPR. Resuscitation efforts were continued by park personnel until the NorthArk Ambulance arrived. All attempts to revive the boy failed.

Personnel from the Searcy County Sheriff’s Office, Park personnel, to include a campground volunteer, park visitors and NorthArk Ambulance Service assisted.

Missouri National Recreational River (SD)
One Dead, Two Seriously Injured Following Fall From Cliff

A Nebraska woman drowned in the Missouri River near Running Water, South Dakota, after falling off a cliff on July 18th. Two others were hospitalized in serious condition after attempting to rescue her.

Responding agencies to the accident included the Bon Homme County Sheriff’s Office, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Santee Sioux Tribal Police, Yankton Search and Rescue, South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, and Springfield police and emergency crews.

The Bon Homme sheriff reported that a group of four accessed a cliff area adjacent to a popular scenic lookout near the Chief Standing Bear Bridge approximately 60 feet above the Missouri River, and that alcohol was a factor in the accident.  No foul play is suspected.

The accident occurred just before the beginning of the annual Blue Moon Resort poker run, where NPS rangers were conducting a joint saturation patrol with South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, and Nebraska Game and Parks officers, focusing on boating safety and BUI detection.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Rangers Save Couple On Lake Mohave

A husband and wife in their 70s were out on a small bass fishing boat all day on July 8th and returning from the Cottonwood area in the evening when the husband, who was operating the boat, began having difficulty seeing in the fading light. He decided to try to put ashore for the night at Chili Pepper Cove on Lake Mohave.

When he got out of the boat, he inadvertently knocked it away and out of his reach. His wife tried to throw him a line without success. The wind, blowing at 15 to 25 knots all day, immediately took her away from her spouse, who attempted to swim back to the boat.  The wife threw him a PFD, which she said hit the water, though she was unsure if her husband was able to retrieve it.

The wife was located a couple of hours later about two miles northwest of where she last saw her husband.  Nearly inconsolable, she was not wearing a PFD and the only PFD on board was of questionable service.

A search was started for the husband with the wife aboard the ranger boat in the area she seemed to recognize.  The husband was found on the shore in the cove, yelling for assistance. He was wet, cold and stated that he was planning on making a shelter for the night and waiting until the morning to flag down help. The PFD that was thrown to him by his wife was in the same poor condition as the one found aboard their boat. At the request of rangers the couple voluntarily surrendered their old PFD’s for new ones supplied through the “Ready, Set, Wear It” program.

Once back at the dock, the husband declined further medical assessment, while his wife was overcome by the emotions of the event and nearly fainted. He said that he had Type IV PFDs (throwable), flares, and a marine band radio on board, none of which were known to the wife. Nor did she know how to use them.

Rangers suggest that a safety briefing is given to all occupants of a vessel by the operator prior to departing on the water. This briefing should include how to locate and use all safety equipment aboard the boat. Rangers also remind visitors not to jump from moving vessels or in windy conditions that will not permit them to stay with their boat, and to wear their lifejackets while on the water.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Cliff Jumper Seriously Injured At Adams Creek

Rangers and local emergency personnel responded to a report of a seriously injured person at the main waterfall on Adams Creek around 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.  This was the fifth time since April that rangers have responded to rescue calls at Adams Creek.

A 27-year-old man from Milford, Pennsylvania, sustained serious injuries after jumping from a 45-foot cliff into the pool at the base of the falls.  Rangers were on patrol on the trail to the falls when the call came in through the NPS communications center and were able to get to the man quickly and begin treatment.

The rugged, mile-and-a-half long trail includes four creek crossings and one area where the injured man had to be raised and lowered over steep cliffs.  It took park rangers and rescue personnel from Delaware Township Ambulance Corp three hours to carry him from the falls to the road, where an ambulance awaited. He was then transported by Delaware Township Ambulance Corp to a landing zone in Dingmans Ferry and flown to Morristown Hospital.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Man Drowns In Delaware River

Jason Daniel Moser, 41, of Myerstown, Pennsylvania, drowned while attempting to swim across the Delaware River on the afternoon of July 18th.

Members of the park’s dive team recovered Moser’s body in ten feet of water later in the day near an area known as Shad Rocks, located between Bushkill Access and Smithfield Beach. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Multiple rescues – http://clareherald.com/2015/07/busy-sunday-for-search-and-rescue-crews-92430/

Body recoveries – http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/29635512/1-man-confirmed-dead-after-halona-blowhole-rescue-search

hera

Image: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150721/NEWS01/150729859

Hiking – 

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Searchers Find Two Missing Hikers

A search for two missing women came to a successful conclusion last Thursday morning when searchers found them off trail above Hague Creek and below Mummy Pass in the northwest portion of the park.

On Tuesday, July 21st, a group of five family members and friends hiked to Mirror Lake. While they were hiking back, Christine Everett, 51, and Danielle Hohly, 26, became separated from the group.  They were last seen at 2:30 p.m.  just below Mirror Lake, which is approximately six miles from the Corral Creek Trailhead.

When the women failed to appear at the trailhead, one of the members of the party went back up the trail and searched for them until dark. At roughly 8:15 p.m. they called for assistance.  This is in a remote area with no cell service and limited radio communication.  The call went to Larimer County Search and Rescue, whose members responded to the area later that night. They searched the general area and determined that the point last seen was inside Rocky Mountain National Park, so contacted rangers on Wednesday morning. A joint search was begun.

When the women were found, they were cold and hungry but in good condition. The two women were flown by helicopter to the east side of the park, where they were reunited with family members.

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

A search is underway for Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang, a 21-year old man from China. Xiang is a seasonal concessioner employee in the park and was backpacking with four friends last Thursday when he disappeared while swimming in the Yellowstone River near its confluence with Hellroaring Creek in the northern section of the park.

Xiang was in the water with two of his companions around 11:45 am when he was pulled away from the shore by the current of the swiftly flowing river.  Xiang was struggling to stay afloat as unsuccessful efforts were made to pull him back to shore. He was swept downriver into a long stretch of rapids before he disappeared from view. A member of the party placed a 911 call to park dispatch at 12:39 pm.

Rangers immediately began responding on horseback and on foot. Responders reached the river and met with the reporting party at 2:44 pm. Initial search efforts Thursday afternoon did not turn up any sign of Xiang, who is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Search efforts were increased on Friday; a helicopter, two dog teams, and 20 Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park employees actively searched for him in the Yellowstone River corridor.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang is asked to call Yellowstone National Park at 307-344-2643.

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Two Injured Hikers Rescued In Separate Incidents

On the evening of July 19th, park rangers were notified via cell phone that a 13-year-old girl from Estes Park had suffered a leg injury roughly a half mile northwest of The Pool in rugged Forest Canyon.

Park search and rescue team members reached her and her father between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. the following morning.  It was difficult to find the girl in the steep, rugged, off trail terrain.  The area had also been impacted by the Fern Lake Fire, which posed additional challenges for rescuers traversing the area after dark.

A technical raise was used to bring the girl roughly 150 to 200 feet up and over a rock cliff to a flat bench area where a landing zone had been constructed. She was flown from the area to the Upper Beaver Meadows helispot at 4:30 p.m., then taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center.

Park search and rescue team members were assisted by the Northern Colorado Interagency Helitack Crew.  Over 30 park personnel were involved in this incident, as well as one member of the Alpine Rescue Group.

As park rescue personnel were finishing the Forest Canyon rescue, they were notified by cell phone of a 43-year-old woman with a leg injury near Emerald Lake. Park search and rescue personnel reached her at 7:45 p.m. A team carried her out on a wheeled litter.

United States Park Police
Seriously Injured Teen Medevaced By Eagle One

On the evening of July 16th, Montgomery County Fire contacted Park Police Aviation and asked for a medevac of an injured 19-year-old man from a spot along the Potomac River. EMS personnel had categorized him as a Category A due to a possible spine injury incurred in a ten-foot fall.

Eagle One Pilot Ryan Evasick was able to lift off and land at the expedient landing zone, a gravel bar in the river, prior to the arrival of a rescue boat. The injured man was quickly loaded onto the helicopter and flown to Suburban Hospital for care.

Badlands National Park (SD)
Search For Missing Nebraska Man Yields Few Clues

Rangers received a report on Thursday, July 16th of a missing person who was believed to be hiking in Badlands National Park.  Joshua Jacobsen, a 39-year-old man from Laurel, Nebraska had texted a photo of Badlands to his ex-wife four days earlier. This was the last communication the family received.

On Friday rangers discovered Jacobsen’s 2008 silver Dodge pickup parked at Sage Creek Campground. An interagency SAR operation was initiated to search areas of the 64,000 acre Sage Creek Wilderness using a South Dakota National Guard helicopter, dogs, horses, and roughly 40 search personnel. The operation was scaled back on Sunday, July 19th, after extensive searching resulted in no contact with Jacobsen or any physical evidence associated with him. Rangers continue investigations, working in cooperation with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Department.

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

penticon

Image: http://infotel.ca/newsitem/dramatic-rescue-in-penticton-creek-canyon/it21559

Hunter-gatherer – 

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Woman Injured In Encounter With Bison

A 43-year-old woman from Mississippi received minor injuries Tuesday when she turned her back on a bison to get a photo with it near the Fairy Falls trailhead. She was the fifth person injured after approaching bison this season.

The woman and her daughter were by the trailhead sign when they decided to take a picture with a bison that was approximately six yards away from them near the trail. When they turned their backs to the bison to take the picture, someone warned that they were too close. They heard the bison’s footsteps moving toward them and started to run, but the bison caught the mother on the right side, lifted her up and tossed her with its head. The woman’s father covered her with his body to protect her and the bison moved about three yards away. The family drove to the Old Faithful Clinic, where the woman was treated and released with minor injuries.

“The family said they read the warnings in both the park literature and the signage, but saw other people close to the bison, so they thought it would be OK,” said Old Faithful District Ranger Colleen Rawlings. “People need to recognize that Yellowstone wildlife is wild, even though they seem docile. This woman was lucky that her injuries were not more severe.”

The park has again reminded visitors that wildlife should not be approached, regardless of how tame or calm they appear. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, visitors must give it a wide berth and not approach it closer than the required minimum distances – 25 yards away from all large animals (bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes) and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.

Bison can run three times faster than humans can sprint and are unpredictable and dangerous. Visitors are advised to give the animals enough space and alter their plans to avoid interacting with an animal in close proximity.

busy

Image: http://clareherald.com/2015/07/busy-sunday-for-search-and-rescue-crews-92430/

Climbing – 

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Two Climbers Injured In Sliding Fall On Middle Teton

On Saturday, July 25th, two climbers fell and slid on a patch of snow while descending from the Dike Pinnacle on the south face of the Middle Teton. The climbers, Jordan Lister and Carrie Schwartz, both 25 and residents of Jackson, Wyoming, slid approximately 200 feet on snow and rocky terrain before coming to a stop on a grassy ledge. Lister sustained serious injuries requiring an evacuation by helicopter while Schwartz sustained minor injuries.

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a call for assistance at 5:22 p.m. from Schwartz. Park rangers quickly responded from the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache at Lupine Meadows. They were joined by the Teton Interagency contract helicopter, which had been assisting with an extensive search for a missing person near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.

The helicopter was able to land relatively near to the grassy ledge and insert three park rangers, who made a short climb to reach the injured climbers. Rangers provided medical care while preparations were made for an expeditious short-haul evacuation of Lister.

Lister and an attending park ranger were short-hauled from the grassy ledge directly to the rescue cache on the valley floor just before sunset. There, Lister was transferred to a waiting park ambulance and transported to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming. The helicopter then returned to the site of the accident and short-hauled Schwartz and the two remaining rangers to the rescue cache. The rescue mission was completed shortly after 9:00 p.m., just before darkness would have made further operations impossible.

The fall occurred while the two climbers were descending on snow about 400 feet below the summit of the Dike Pinnacle. This type of fall—one that occurs while descending on snow—is a very common cause of mountaineering-related injuries in Grand Teton National Park. Rangers encourage climbers to pay special attention while descending on snow, and to wear helmets whenever moving about in the vertical terrain of the Teton Range where rockfalls, or a slip and fall in rock-strewn areas, can pose a danger.

This rescue was the second helicopter-assisted rescue mission of the day in the park. Rangers also flew a climber who had become ill from the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton around 7:30 on Saturday morning.

After completing this rescue, the Teton Interagency contract helicopter flew to Yellowstone to assist with the continuing search efforts for the missing person.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Climber Injured By Dislodged Boulder

On Tuesday, July 21st, a large boulder dislodged and rolled over the arm of a hiker/climber, causing severe injury to his limb and prompting a helicopter-assisted rescue by Grand Teton National Park rangers.

Tucker Zibilich, 26, of Jackson, Wyoming and his partner were on their descent after making a day trek to the Upper Saddle of the Grand Teton when he was injured by the boulder.

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received an emergency call for help at 12:40 p.m. from Zibilich’s partner and several other climbers, and park rangers immediately initiated a rescue operation. A backcountry ranger and a retired Jenny Lake Subdistrict ranger happened to be approaching the base of the headwall, just below the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton, when the call came in. They promptly advanced to the Lower Saddle, picked up essential gear at the park’s backcountry rescue cache, and ascended another 1,200+ feet to the accident site. They reached Zibilich at 2:15 p.m., assessed his condition, and provided emergency medical care until additional park rangers could arrive.

Due to nature of Zibilich’s injury and concern about attempting to hike him downslope over steep and rocky terrain to reach the Grand Teton’s broad and somewhat flat Lower Saddle for an aerial evacuation, a decision was made to use the Teton Interagency contract helicopter to instead short-haul Zibilich directly from his high elevation site on the Grand Teton to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache on the valley floor.

To prepare Zibilich for the short-haul flight, one additional park ranger was flown to the Lower Saddle. Carrying additional emergency medical gear and a short-haul evacuation suit, the ranger hiked upslope to reach the accident site—a distance of nearly one mile and 1,200 vertical feet of steep terrain.

After he was placed into the evacuation suit and tethered to a short-haul line attached to the belly of the helicopter, Zibilich was flown suspended below the ship—and in tandem with an attending ranger—directly to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache at Lupine Meadows. He was then transferred to a waiting park ambulance and transported to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.

It appears that Zibilich stepped on and dislodged several small boulders during his descent, which in turn loosened a large boulder and allowed it to roll over his arm. Because they were pursuing just a day hike to the Upper Saddle and not attempting a technical climb, Zibilich and his partner did not have climbing ropes or harnesses with them. They did have helmets at the time of the incident.

Canyoneer rescued – https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/07/29/ccj-water-canyon-rescue/#.Vbrckfm6fIU

Mountain rescue – http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150721/NEWS01/150729859

Vehicles – 

 Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Man Struck And Killed By Boat Propeller

On the afternoon of July 25th, park dispatch received a call reporting that a visitor had been cut by a boat propeller near Cactus Cove.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife and Arizona Game and Fish were first on scene and pronounced the man dead upon arrival.

According to witnesses, the boat’s operator accidentally put the boat in reverse and ran over the victim. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department dive team was called in to assist with the recovery.

The National Park Service and Nevada Department of Wildlife are investigating the incident.

Katmai National Park & Preserve (AK)
Four Rescued From Overturned Plane At Brooks Camp

A Piper PA-22 Pacer on floats with a pilot and three passengers on board made a landing on Naknek Lake in three- to four-foot swells just after noon on July 5th. Although the landing was rough, the pilot was able to settle the plane on the water in a stable condition.  He was attempting to sail the airplane to the beach when the plane turned sideways and the wind picked up the right wing, burying the left wing in the water where it remained.

The pilot instructed his passengers to don lifejackets, which they all managed to get on prior to the airplane rolling inverted in the water.  All four occupants exited the aircraft underwater and climbed up on the floats.

The accident was witnessed by Chief of Resources Troy Hamon, who, along with Naknek District Ranger Dave Woodcock, had just launched the park’s Palyak landing craft to undertake a search for three overdue hikers. They immediately responded to the overturned aircraft. Hamon was able to successfully maneuver the boat in high winds and waves to a point where Woodcock was able to assist the passengers into the boat. This took three or four approaches to get everyone safely into the Palayak. Hamon then offloaded the passengers on the beach, where they were escorted to the Brooks Lodge and a roaring fire.

The lodge manager and employees provided the soggy aviators with dry clothes and hot drinks.  All four were uninjured and only slightly cold with no sign of hypothermia.

After dropping off the people, Hamon and Woodcock returned to the sunken airplane and managed to stop the movement of the plane toward the beach by attaching an anchor to one of the floats. The aircraft was refloated and retrieved by the insurance company five days later.  Because of Hamon’s foresight in anchoring the airplane in deep water, the aircraft remained intact and was successfully righted and flown away.

The search for the overdue hikers resumed later that afternoon, but rough conditions forced the search boat to return to base. The park aircraft was flown during a lull in the winds and located the three hikers, all of whom were in good condition.  Pilot Allen Gilliland landed his wheeled Cessna C-185 approximately a half mile away and was able to retrieve all three hikers in two flights.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Man Rescued After Driving Truck Off Cliff Into Lake Mohave

A man driving a Ford Ranger pickup intentionally drove through a guard rail and went over a cliff and into Lake Mohave immediately east of the Davis Dam Bridge early on the morning of July 7th. Bullhead City Police Department officers responded and requested assistance from rangers.  They reported that the man swam into the dam holding basin and was refusing to come to shore.

With the assistance of Bureau of Reclamation security and staff, rangers and Bullhead City police officers were able to access the holding basin, which is barricaded off from vessels.

The man was using a piece of foam to hold himself above water but refused to go to shore. He was brought onto the ranger vessel without incident approximately one hour after he entered the water. He was transported by vessel and was treated for hypothermia and transported to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center.

Bullhead City Police Department and Lake Mead National Recreation Area are investigating the incident.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area — NV, AZ
Woman Seriously Injured In Boating Accident

A woman sustained life-threatening injuries in a boating accident near Callville Bay on Lake Mead on the morning of July 15th.

Witnesses said two boats were pulling into a wakeless area near Sandy Beach when one boat hit the other from behind. The boat that was hit was carrying three occupants. A woman sustained life-threatening injuries and was flown by Mercy Air to a hospital; a man was treated for minor injuries. The other occupant of the boat and the operator of the second boat were not hurt.

The incident is under investigation.

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

valley

image: http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/news/w-yorks/video-woman-rescued-by-calder-valley-search-and-rescue-team-1-7372697

Survival Bi-Weekly – 6/12/15…

news

Image: http://www.outsideonline.com/1986496/search-and-rescue-public-service-not-exactly

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 – 

Bear attack in my district (and my excuse why Survival Weekly got delayed to Bi-weekly while I worked that incident) – http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2015/06/08/smokies-rangers-plan-euthanize-bear-attacked-boy/28691927/

Great first hand AAR from rescued hiker – http://www.equipped.org/032015survive.htm

News – 

Rescue a public service? – http://www.outsideonline.com/1986496/search-and-rescue-public-service-not-exactly

App for SAR planning – http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/ksar-38065/

Rescue in paradise could cost – http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/blog/morning_call/2015/06/kauai-considers-making-hikers-who-ignore-warnings.html

Water Safety – 

Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Search For Missing River Guide Scaled Back

Efforts to find missing river guide Morgan Heimer, 22, have been scaled back following a six-day search that has turned up no clues as to his whereabouts.

Heimer was last seen on Tuesday, June 2nd, at approximately 4 p.m. around Pumpkin Springs along the Colorado River. The initial park response included searching the area where he was last seen by air and an immediate hasty search by rangers. For the past six days, park rangers have conducted an extensive search of about 14 miles of the river and four miles along its shores.

The search will now be scaled back to a continuous but limited mode in which rangers and pilots will continue to look for clues when in the area. Flyers with Heimer’s picture and description remain posted at various South Rim locations, and all launching river trips will briefed on particulars regarding the search.

Little River Canyon National Preserve (AL)
Man Drowns In Johnnie’s Creek

A Piedmont man drowned in Johnnie’s Creek at a local swimming area known as the Mill Hole on May 27th. The Mill Hole is located within the legislative boundaries of Little River Canyon National Preserve, but is on private property.

Cherokee County deputies, Cherokee County EMS, Cherokee County Rescue Squad, and National Park Service rangers responded.

Witnesses told deputies and investigators that Matthew Frost, 22, jumped into the water and appeared to be struggling. He went under and never resurfaced. Two bystanders had just arrived and jumped into the water, located Frost, and pulled him to the rocks. CPR was started once he was removed from the water. Frost was pronounced dead at the hospital by the Cherokee County coroner.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (TX)
Local Man Drowns In Park Swimming Area

A 21-year-old Amarillo resident died at Spring Canyon just below the Sanford Dam on Wednesday, May 27th.

The Borger Police Department received a 911 call around 11:30 a.m. reporting that a swimmer had gone under and had not surfaced.

Rangers arrived on scene within minutes and had a john boat and two kayaks in the water within 30 minutes of the initial 911 call. Search efforts were accompanied by a grid ground search by NPS firefighters in the Spring Canyon swimming area.  The man’s body was found by the Amarillo Police Department’s dive team about an hour later.

SAR for missing rafter – http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/search-continues-for–year-old-rafter-on-arkansas-river/article_19bdcfde-104c-11e5-88c2-931d38f74bd4.html

River rescue near Great Falls – http://www.kfbb.com/story/29202894/river-rescue-near-great-falls

Tragic boating accident – http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/search-and-rescue-underway-on-bear-lake/19994/sMqqRIZfNUeXC2yO1FwqVw

Helicopter rescue of infant – http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/PHOTOS-Dramatic-helicopter-rescue-month-old/story-26626212-detail/story.html

SAR for canoeists – http://www.derryjournal.com/news/major-incident-declared-after-canoes-capsize-on-foyle-1-6784156

Body of teen recovered – http://www.katu.com/news/local/Search-and-rescue-underway-at-Lewis-River-306423811.html

Boating accident – http://globalnews.ca/news/2044042/rescue-crews-and-rcmp-work-to-recover-boaters-body-after-accident-on-pitt-lake/

Surfer to the rescue – http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/surfers-brave-rescue-attempt-to-save-drowning-perth-man-swept-off-rocks-in-esperance-swell/story-fnhocxo3-1227376221031

Hiking – 

Badlands National Park (SD)
SAR Team Rescues Injured Danish Visitor

On the evening of Saturday, June 6th, the park’s search and rescue team rescued a 23-year-old visitor from Denmark who’d fallen and sustained injuries to her left leg while hiking on the Notch Trail.

The woman was able to crawl a significant distance and descend to the base of a log and cable ladder, where SAR team members found her. Team members employed a rope system to lower the patient in a litter to waiting ambulance personnel. She was then taken to a hospital in Phillip, South Dakota.

This was the second rescue from the Notch Trail this year. In April, a visitor from Russia was also injured in a fall.
Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Visitor Injured In Encounter With Bison

A 62-year-old Australian man sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an encounter with a bison near Old Faithful Lodge yesterday morning.

According to witness reports, several people were crowding a bison that was lying on the grass near an asphalt path when the man approached it while taking pictures with an electronic notepad. He got to within three to five feet from the bison when it charged him, tossing him into the air several times.

When responding rangers arrived on scene, the bison was approximately 100 yards from the injured man. He was flown to a hospital for treatment.

Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous. Visitors are advised to always give the animals enough space to avoid crowding the animal.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park – Two Missing Hikers Found in Park

 Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have found a missing woman and her son from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin who had been reported being lost in the park on Sunday, June 7.

Christy Barns, 40, and her son, Casey, 16, had sent a text message to family members on Sunday evening at 8:38 p.m. stating they were lost and needed help. Rangers were notified and were able to locate the individuals’ vehicle at Clingmans Dome. The ground search was initiated on Monday morning and the pair was soon found in good condition along the Forney Creek trail a little before 2:00 p.m.

The park had mobilized an incident management team and deployed search teams to the trails surrounding Clingmans Dome. The search involved 30 National Park Services employees with 15 of those actively searching in the field. The initial search focused on trails which carried the highest probability of where the pair may have been located.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park – Body of Missing Hiker Found in Park

 Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers believe to have discovered the body of reported missing hiker, Jenny Bennett, 62, of Sylva, NC in the Lester Prong area of Greenbrier above campsite 31 on Monday, June 8. It was reported to park officials on Sunday, June 7 that Bennett was missing and possibly in the park.  Her vehicle was located at the Porters Flat Trailhead later that evening. An area wide search operation of trained man trackers was underway when she was found by rangers.

Bennett was an avid hiker in the Smoky Mountains and maintained a blog about her trips. She was a member of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club and often liked to hike off trail in the park. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local-news/body-of-hiker-found-in-smokies-identified-as-jenny-bennett

Body of hiker recovered –   http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Search+rescue+crews+find+body+missing+hiker+Chilliwack+backcountry/11116543/story.html

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

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Image: http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/search-continues-for–year-old-rafter-on-arkansas-river/article_19bdcfde-104c-11e5-88c2-931d38f74bd4.html

Hunter-gatherer – 

Mushroom hunter found –   http://www.kamloopsbcnow.com/watercooler/news/news/Kamloops/15/06/02/Kamloops_Search_and_Rescue_Looking_for_Missing_Mushroom_Picker

Climbing – 

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Injured Climber Rescued From Garnet Canyon

On Tuesday afternoon, rangers conducted a rescue operation via helicopter for an injured climber who fell on a wet rock slab just above the Meadows area of Garnet Canyon in the heart of the Teton Range.

Charlie Emerson, 31, of Marietta, Georgia was solo climbing a fourth class rated rock slab when he slipped and slid approximately 150 to 200 feet before coming to rest in a snowfield at the base of the rock feature. Emerson was not wearing a helmet at the time of his fall.

Two Grand Teton employees conducting a research project in Garnet Canyon witnessed Emerson’s sliding fall and immediately began hiking to his location. These park employees are certified as emergency medical technicians and they were able to effectively assess Emerson and provide emergency medical care until park rangers could arrive by helicopter.

A separate backcountry party also reached Emerson and placed an emergency call for help via cell phone. That call was received by Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 12:30 p.m.  Because wet, snow sloughs were shedding off areas above the accident site, responders carefully moved Emerson to a more secure area out of harm’s way.

Park rangers happened to be conducting early season training at the time at the Teton Interagency Helibase, located at the Jackson Hole Airport. Their preseason training included a Helicopter Express ship that just came under contract with Grand Teton and Bridger-Teton National Forest to support firefighting and search and rescue operations during the coming season.

The helicopter flew from the helibase to the Jenny Lake rescue cache located near the base of the Teton peaks at Lupine Meadows and picked up two rangers for transport to Garnet Canyon. After the ship landed on a snow-covered area near the accident site, the two rangers traversed about 200 yards to reach Emerson and place him in a rescue litter. They carried him back to the helispot and placed him inside the ship for a quick flight to the Jenny Lake rescue cache. Emerson was then transferred into a waiting park ambulance and transported to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson for further care of his multiple injuries.

Emerson did not receive a head injury, which was lucky given the fact that he was not wearing a helmet and that he was crossing wet and likely slippery rock slabs. While rock features in Garnet Canyon can be easy to ascend, they are often more difficult to descend. As these rock slabs melt out, they can be covered with slippery silt or sand, which makes good traction more challenging.

Climbing accident – http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/search-and-rescue-comes-to-aid-of-one-its-own/Content?oid=2657258

Vehicles – 

 Off roader rescued – http://www.thewesternnews.com/members/search-and-rescue-pulls-jeep-from-creek/article_73822d22-092f-11e5-a4b5-77d0571dc362.html

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Image: http://infotel.ca/newsitem/penticton-search-and-rescue-rescue-injured-hiker-at-the-bluffs/it20204

Survival Weekly – 3/17/15…

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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 – 

I have followed this search, because like the victim, I have a passion for hunting/trapping and sometimes my adventures are by canoe. 

3 1/2 month Search resolved – http://snewsi.com/all/tag/Medard+Kowalski

Body of missing hunter found – http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_27719585/coroner-called-incident-york-haven

News – 

Not a substitute for a good trip plan, but a valuable tactic if you have cell service – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/trailheadselfie-suggested-by-coquitlam-search-and-rescue-1.2995140

Cellular booster on a drone –http://www.richmondreview.com/business/296260251.html

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Water Safety – 

Remains of missing divers found – http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/remains-found-at-site-of-diver-disappearance-at-cape-schanck-on-mornington-peninsula-20150314-1442hk.html

Recovery of missing kayaker –http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-31881419

Crew of tugboat rescued – http://www.app.com/story/news/crime/jersey-mayhem/2015/03/15/tugboat-sinks/24805889/

Crew of scientists rescued –https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/26677790/wa-reef-scientist-rescued-by-indon-navy/

Surfer rescued –http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/surfer-rescued-after-being-trapped-under-cliffs-of-moher-1.2140488

Recovery of four year old boy –http://kimt.com/2015/03/15/family-friend-boy-dies-after-being-found-in-hancock-county-lake/

Kayakers rescued –http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/five-boaters-rescued-in-parry-bay-off-metchosin-1.1793178

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Winter Sports – 

Avalanche safety advice – http://www.policeone.com/police-products/tactical/articles/8433637-Tactics-tips-and-gear-for-avalanche-safety-and-survival/

GoPro footage of avalanche rescues – http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/03/13/06/41/aussie-skier-rescued-after-almost-suffocating-under-snow-in-switzerland

Hiking – 

Hiker’s account of getting lost – http://www.pe.com/articles/mountain-762088-corona-trail.html

Blind hiker rescued – http://globalnews.ca/news/1883320/blind-hiker-rescued-from-the-lions-after-getting-disoriented-on-multi-day-hiking-trip/

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Climbing – 

Canyoneering rescue https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/03/11/hrc-man-airlifted-to-drmc-after-40-foot-fall-in-johnson-canyon/#.VQjLRo5QMsM

Injured climber rescued – http://www.kptv.com/story/28521541/deputies-injured-climber-rescued-at-smith-rock-state-park

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Vehicles – 

Stranded off-roaders rescued –  https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/03/12/rsw-search-and-rescue-assists-in-search-for-2-stranded-men/#.VQjLN45QMsM

Rescue helicopter crashes – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31889073

Stranded drivers rescued – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/drivers-and-passengers-rescued-on-burgeo-highway-1.2997651

Small plane crash – http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/four-bodies-recovered-crashed-plane-6256398

Urban – 

Search for missing man resolved – http://www.ldnews.com/local/ci_27717879/searchers-find-east-hanover-missing-man-unhurt

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Survival Weekly – 3/4/15…

North-Shore-Rescue-GrouseMountain_062214

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 – 

Meth and getting rescued don’t mix well. Injured SAR team member wins lawsuit – http://patch.com/california/lakeforest-ca/injured-search-and-rescue-volunteer-settles-suit-against-lost-trabuco-hiker

News – 

Northwest Alaska SAR reports – http://www.thearcticsounder.com/article/1509search-and-rescue_teams_have_busy_week

Winter Sports – 

Injured snowmobiler rescued http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=33627100

Another injured snowmobiler rescued – http://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/Central_Okanagan/15/02/28/Snowmobiler_with_Serious_Back_Injury_Rescued_Near_Peachland

Hiking – 

Search ends for missing hiker http://www.cbs8.com/story/28199875/rescue-crews-continue-search-in-the-east-county-for-missing-hiker

Stranded hikers rescued http://www.8newsnow.com/story/28191782/metro-releases-chopper-video-of-search-for-stranded-hikers

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/28214913/search-and-rescue-teams-help-hiker-at-tanque-verde-falls

Lost hikers rescued – http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/two-women-rescued-from-mangerton-mountain-in-kerry-1.2121814

Helicopter rescue of stranded climbers – http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/03/01/helicopter-assists-in-rescue-of-2-men-who-fell-down-hill-in-marin-county/

Injured hikers rescued – http://www.cknw.com/2015/03/01/66818/

Another injured hiker rescued – http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/03/03/dsc-search-rescue-team-helps-man-who-fell-40-feet-in-red-cliffs-recreation-area/#.VPfKF_lQMsM

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Hunter-gatherer – 

Stranded hunters rescued – https://www.adn.com/article/20150225/extensive-search-finds-interior-hunters-safe-after-two-nights-missing

Climbing – 

Injured climber rescued https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/502759/ben-nevis-rescue-effort-underway/

Stranded climber rescued http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/article/?id=40699

Climber rescued – http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/03/01/3514154/climber-stuck-on-morro-rock.html

Water Safety – 

Two sailors rescued – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-27/two-men-rescued-after-boat-runs-aground-cape-barren/6268846

Coast guard rescues nine sailors – http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coast-guard-rescues-nine-sailors/article6952639.ece

Vehicles – 

Fatality at river crossing in Mammoth Cave – http://www.wbko.com/news/headlines/Search-and-Rescue-at-Mammoth-Cave-National-Park-294909821.html

Multiple vehicle SAR’s – http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2015/02/28/county-search-rescue-busy-saturday-calls/24206407/

Stranded man rescued – http://elkodaily.com/news/search-and-rescue-team-locates-stranded-new-yorker/article_fac7b81a-7f93-50b9-b08c-00b6e382c7d4.html

Urban – 

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Survival Weekly – 2/25/15…

search2_met

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 – 

Personal Locator Beacons (PLB), satellite messengers, and cell phones save lives, but have their limitations. They can fail, give erratic signals, and do not guarantee that the rescue teams will be able to get to you in time.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the coordinates that we received over the night were all over the place within a mile circumference,” Fish and Game Lt. Jim Goss told WIMU

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/02/21/the-young-woman-and-mountain/SEBPucaGpA1Fun4R5uoj7K/story.html

Two stories of satellite messengers failing – 

Overdue skiers found http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/292301261.html

sarsart-highres

News – 

NASAR launches new website – http://www.nasar.org/

RIP to SAR Technician – http://www.comoxvalleyecho.com/news/local/search-and-rescue-technician-funeral-to-be-held-in-the-comox-valley-1.1773220

Drone policy in works for Utah SAR http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865622689/Bill-eases-restrictions-on-police-drone-use-for-search-and-rescue-training.html

Winter Sports – 

Overdue skiers found http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/292301261.html

Teens survive an icy night out – http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/snow-bound-maine-teens-survive-sub-zero-night-stranded-woods-n308061

Lost skier rescued – http://www.conwaydailysun.com/newsx/local-news/119312-wayward-skier-rescued-at-attitash

Snowmobilers rescued – http://fox13now.com/2015/02/22/search-and-rescue-crews-locate-two-overdue-snowmobilers/

Hiking – 

Lost hiker found – http://icelandreview.com/news/2015/02/18/search-and-rescue-find-lost-tourist

Adironack Ranger Rescue highlights – http://poststar.com/news/local/adirondack-forest-ranger-search-and-rescue-highlights-feb/article_feb7ba6c-b770-11e4-8788-cb5376d768cc.html

Hiker self-rescues – http://www.standard.net/Police-Fire/2015/02/16/Davis-Creek-Canyon-fall

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/helicopter-rescues-injured-hiker-on-juan-de-fuca-trail-1.1764349

SAR for missing hiker – http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/emergency/search-underway-for-missing-german-tramper/

Hikers rescued – http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/02/20/lost-hikers-dog-reach-safety/23758081/

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11406263

Hikers rescued – http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2015/02/23/3-hikers-rescued-in-red-rock-canyon-area/

Student group rescued – http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/02/24/stranded-nau-students-grand-canyon-abrk/23936159/

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Hunter-gatherer – 

Wounded hunter rescued – http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/66688644/Shot-hunter-rescued-from-Tararua-Ranges

Hog hunters rescued –   http://www.nola.com/traffic/index.ssf/2015/02/lost_hog_hunters_rescued_from.html

Ice fishermen recount story of survival –  http://www.postcrescent.com/story/sports/outdoors/blogs/2015/02/24/schram-green-bay-ice-survival/23931739/

Climbing – 

Injured climber rescued – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-31634704

Climber rescued – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/497006/climber-rescued-after-cairngorm-fall/

Water Safety – 

Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River (TX)
Overdue Canoeist Rescued From Lower Canyons

On February 15th, rangers Greg Drum and Beau Bracken began a search for a 68-year-old man from Albuquerque who had departed on January 30th to canoe the remote Lower Canyons portion the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River.

When his permit revealed to rangers that he was overdue, a request for assistance was put in to the U.S. Customs Air and Marine Branch out of Alpine, Texas. Drum joined the pilot to assist him with the aerial search.

The man was spotted on the Mexican side of the river near Upper Madison Falls, a Class III/IV rapid. He’d attempted to portage the rapid,  but became stranded due to his physical condition and diminished supplies. He said that he’d flipped his canoe several times earlier in the trip and had lost a bag filled with essential medication. Without his medication, he had begun to succumb to extreme lethargy and was unable to continue his trip. He said he hadn’t seen another human during his entire time on the river and therefore believed his chance of rescue was miniscule.

Drum was dropped off nearby and hiked to the man’s location. Using his canoe, Drum helped him back across the Rio Grande. The pilot waited on the Texas shore, then flew him to park headquarters in Panther Junction. He was transported to Big Bend Regional Medical Center, treated there, and released with no lasting injuries.

The remote Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic are among the most rugged and desolate locations in the Lower 48. Rangers are the only people who patrol the river along this stretch of international border. For more information and photographs of this area, click on the link below.

SAR called off for missing man – http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2015/02/17/breaking-search-and-rescue-operation-underway-in-gibraltar/

Rescue for fishing vessel – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/496484/large-rescue-operation-launched-sinking-north-sea-fishing-boat/

Search suspended for missing boy – http://www.itv.com/news/update/2015-02-20/river-rescue-teams-end-third-day-of-searching-for-boy-11/

Vehicles – 

Stranded motorist rescued – https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/02/20/hrc-search-and-rescue-saves-the-day-man-stranded-near-kolob-reservoir/#.VO1J-flQMsM

Stranded ATV riders rescued – http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/local/southern-tier/2015/02/21/atv-riders-rescued-at-sturgeon-point/23823547/

Rollover turns to SAR http://www.newsoptimist.ca/news/follow-the-sirens/rollover-leads-to-search-and-rescue-operation-1.1771657

Urban – 

Missing man – http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Wolfe-Co-rescue-crews-searching-for-missing-man-292150581.html

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Survival Weekly – 1/29/15…

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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 – 

Somehow I missed this incredible story. It has been said and proven that people in good shape are harder to kill. Tough workouts and athletic events build perseverance and the mindset to push through mental and physical barriers. As the author stated in the article, this guy is not built for swimming long distance. Outstanding display of mental and physical toughness. 

Man falls overboard, swims 9 miles to shore – http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/13/opinion/nyad-rob-konrad-swimming-survival/index.html

News – 

I think drones will be a huge asset in SAR, so I will be posting news feeds about them –   http://www.theprovince.com/news/Coquitlam+Search+Rescue+hoping+provincial+using+aerial+drones/10762383/story.html

SAR helmets now offering attachment points –  http://www.policeone.com/police-products/search-and-rescue/articles/8202924-New-search-and-rescue-helmets-offer-accessory-mounting/

Winter Sports – 

Snowboarder rescued after three day ordeal – http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/strong-willed-snowboarder-rescued-after-3-nights-in-whistler-backcountry-1.2204801

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Visitor’s Body Found Along Yellowstone Ski Trail

The body of a Montana man was discovered this past weekend along a park ski trail.

Snowshoers called 911 around noon on Saturday after spotting what they thought was a frozen human body in the snow along a groomed ski trail in the northern part of the park.

Rangers responded to the Frog Rock Trailhead, which is south of the Grand Loop Road, eight-and-a-half miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs.

They discovered the body of 52-year-old Merik Morgan from Belgrade, Montana, not far from the ski trail along the Blacktail Plateau Drive.

While initial indications are that the man succumbed to hypothermia, the incident remains under investigation.

Injured snowshoer rescued – http://www.intelligencer.ca/2015/01/28/sar-techs-rescue-injured-hiker

Ice climber rescued – http://www.ktvq.com/story/27943018/ice-climber-rescued-from-mean-green-near-cody

Hiking – 

Olympic National Park (WA)
Body Of Missing Hiker Found

On Sunday, January 25th, searchers, aided by several dog teams, located and recovered the body of missing hiker James Thomas Griffin in very rugged terrain near the Boulder Creek trailhead.

Griffin, 60, of Port Angeles, Washington, was the subject of an intensive five-day search that began on Christmas Eve.

Griffin’s remains were found by a search dog team in a very steep, rugged and densely forested area about a third of mile from and nearly 1,000 vertical feet above the trail.  An investigation at and around the scene showed no indications of foul play or wildlife interactions.

Griffin was last seen by other hikers around 4 p.m. on Monday, December 22nd, at Olympic Hot Springs. He was reported missing on December 24th when he did not arrive at a Christmas Eve dinner as planned.

Griffin’s daypack was found on December 25th about a half-mile from the trailhead.  Despite the five-day search involving over 20 people and several search dog teams, no other clues were located until Sunday.

Six dog teams from the all-volunteer group German Shepherd Search Dogs searched on Saturday; two teams searched on Sunday.

Air ops delivery helps rescue hiker – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/successful-air-search-and-rescue-conducted-near-rankin-inlet-1.2930745

Lost hiker found –http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150128/seaside-search-and-rescue-finds-lost-resident

Missing woman found unconscious in blizzard conditions – http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150128/seaside-search-and-rescue-finds-lost-resident

Lost hikers rescued –http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/cedar-city/2015/01/28/ic-search-rescue-find-couple-year-old-child-near-trail/22501137/

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Hunter-gatherer – 

Hunter rescued after 6 days – http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/01/27/hunter-missing-for-six-days-found-alive/22424449/

Border Patrol locates missing hunter. Whistle and flashlight used for signalling – http://www.kvoa.com/news/border-patrol-rescue-60-year-old-hunter-on-tuesday/

Climbing – 

Climber injured – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/65394854/man-falls-on-rocks-on-pisa-range

Hueco Tanks climbing accident – http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Man-falls-off-cliff-at-Hueco-Tanks-search-and-rescue-team-sent-to-render-aid-71586.shtml#.VMrdP_5QMsM

Injured climber rescued – http://napavalleyregister.com/star/news/local/climber-injured-rescued-upvalley/article_d8815de6-7f5b-5085-bb8c-46fcbaa65303.html

Water Safety – 

I fall in the lake at work – https://bigpigblog.com/2015/01/29/man-in-the-lake-lessons-learned/

Vehicles – 

ATV rollover – http://www.yumasun.com/news/wellton-fire-department-also-played-role-in-rescue-of-man/article_4fa17ab2-a29f-11e4-8fb6-e32e732a6a36.html

Heart attack at 30,000 feet. Paramedics to the rescue –  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2924551/Firefighters-hailed-heroes-reviving-passenger-heart-stopped-beating-flight-southern-California-Houston.html

Stranded off-roaders rescued –   http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/01/25/dsc-search-and-rescue-assists-stranded-couple-on-upper-bear-valley-road/#.VMrekv5QMsM

Urban – 

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?   Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Man in the Lake – Lessons Learned..

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Cosmic twist of fate?

Or self-fulfilling prophecy?

After 15 years of working on a boat, the odds finally caught up to me. On Saturday, while working by myself, I fell off my boat and plunged into the 40 degree water of Fontana Lake.

Just a couple weeks ago I stated in a blog post that  “Getting caught out in crap weather overnight or falling in the lake are possible scenarios in my winter time work.” Well, I have both checked off now.

Pictured above is one of the last pictures my iCracked phone would ever take as I retrieved it from my pocket. The tongue sticking out is a by-product of my exuberance and would have some type of Haka noise if there was audio. Moments later I would launch into an automated response to remedy my situation, but I will get to that later.

First, I would like to dedicate this post to my dear friend Turdis..

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Former hoghunter and ranger, he is also a graduate of BPO’s Survival 101, so when I found out that he was taking the Wilderness First Responder class taught by my buddies,I asked them to make sure he got a nice soak in their final scenario. I have been assured that the red stain on his pants is fake blood and not the results of legendary, urine marking dye in the creekl.

Karma, however,  had other plans that day.  Turdis volunteered and on the other side of the mountain, I was falling overboard.

I also want to add this picture to my pictograph that I used for my introduction at the Pennsylvania Game Commission academy last week..

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Before teaching,  I was asked to introduce myself to 24  cadets and several members of the tracking team for the lecture part of the class. Having slept  through two academies myself, I figured I would use a pictograph to depict my outdoor career and turn it into a teaching point.

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I used it to show my adventures, and more importantly misadventures, and discuss the importance of decision points and exposure. Each injury or incident brought about lessons, just like the one depicted in this post, and sharing them is a great learning tool and keeps the ego in check. The mini van at the end of the story is good for the latter as well.

And while one student commented that I was accident prone, I really just have greater chances based upon the sheer volume of time spent outdoors and the cadets are no different. Starting down the path of resource protection, not only will they have to face the hazards of any typical law enforcement officer, they will also have a 30 year exposure to outdoor hazards, some of which can come unexpectedly, but a lot can be mitigated by the right mindset, skills, and gear.

Fast forward to Saturday and you will find me pre-baiting traps halfway up the lake. That’s me and my boat, the red star. I am working through the weekend by myself to make up for my trip up North.

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Isolation – check…

Cold water – check..

Cold weather – check..

10 – 15 mph winds – check..

Perfect recipe for the last on my “bucket list” of survival scenarios.

Immersion has long been the stalwart holdout on my personal experiences I use to convey the catalysts of wilderness emergencies, having been injured, disoriented, stranded, broken down, wrecked, caught out in bad weather, and caught out after dark without a flashlight, all in a wilderness setting.

Okay, time to shut up and get to the part where I get wet.

The lake is way down this year, so when I pull into our usual parking spot, it is too shallow. I back off and aim for the left bank, which is steep and rocky. Our slam anchor has long since disappeared, so we have been using a 20 pound navy anchor and piling rocks on it to hold the 24 foot SeaArk mini-barge.

After anchoring, I leave my lifejacket in the cab, grab my pack, my rifle,  and then navigate the ledge around the cab to disembark. Here is that ledge

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Not a lot of room for a gun toting, pack wearing 200 pounder, but there is a handy rail up high to hold onto as you slide around.

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A conservative estimate of the number of times I have slid around that cab over my career would be upward of 10.000 times, and my body rounds the corner, grabs the bar, and slides forward on autopilot.. The red arrow shows the location of the vertical support that my hand has to skip in order to keep sliding forward.

Whether or not my new gloves and new pack were minor contributors to the unfolding events, at the exact moment my hand was skipping the vertical bar, a gust of wind pushed the boat sideways and I grabbed thin air. The image of my multicam gloved hand reaching for the bar seemed surreal as I fell backward into the water wearing my pack and rifle slung around my neck.

The water was about 8 feet deep at that point, but I popped back up to the surface. My pack, which contains a cut down closed cell pad and dry sack for it’s bulkier contents added to my bouyancy as I made the short swim to shore. My rifle, slung neck only to ditch in case of this very situation, was noticeably heavy while swimming, but made it with me.

The first thought, having done multiple “Man in the Creek” drills, was how much warmer the water felt with all my clothes on. It hovered in the high 30’s all day, so I was layered up, head to toe, with merino and synthetics that were picked for this very event. All my layers pictured below..

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When you train for something and it finally rolls around, you can’t help but be excited at the chance to put your training to use. My already great day had just got a thousand times better and it took the next thought to snap me out of my exuberant state.

“Oh shit…my phone”

Deep in my water logged pocket was my “new” phone. In the last two years, I have killed two Kyocera Torques that are supposedly “Bear Grylls” proof, so I switched to an iPhone 5 after the demise of my last one.

On the list to buy was a Lifeproof case, but on day 2 it fell off my truck and smashed the screen. My buddy gave me a case last week, so I figured I would fix the screen before I threw it in the case. Those plans were never completed, and amazingly after the plunge,  it worked, only to die a day later.

Phone taken care of, I went into autopilot, wringing out my clothes just like any Survival 101’er,  and whipping out the garbage bag from my survival kit before I realized I had my pack with me. We always train worst case scenario of pocket kit only, so having the luxury of my pack was a welcome realization.

In the dry sack is a complete change of base layer, socks, a primaloft vest and a primaloft quilt (woobie), that I carry since I was stranded years ago.

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Off go the wet clothes, on go the dry ones, and I topped everything off with my rainsuit. Good as new and I used the garbage bag for the wet items.

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“Old Andrew” would have kept working at this point, but wiser in age now, I realized it was time to head in since my radio and phone both got soaked and I wasn’t sure if they would pull through.

Back at the boat dock, I maintained my professional demeanor and politely refused the offer to use the cart to haul my “tras”h up the ramp, keeping my swimming escapades to myself. I figured I would save myself the ribbing for a couple days when I didn’t have a bag of soggy clothes to add to the jokes, but I did have to make one call to my survival buddy.

His response was the exact same as years ago, when I called him from the hospital and told him  I got snakebit.

Me – Guess what?

Robert – You didn’t get injured did you?

Me – Nope, I fell in the lake today at work…

Robert – That’s so cool!!

Like me, using and validating our training is very rewarding in an unplanned event. We both love to push ourselves in training and have seen positive results when actual events happen.

So on to lessons learned.

1. I recently had a discussion with a very experienced SAR trainer about the merits of the “Man in the Creek” drill and the associated risks. While our opinion differs slightly, we both agree on mitigating risks in training, with me edging towards increasing the intensity.

What I noticed from having done the drill a couple weeks ago to being in the real world scenario, was a complete air of confidence, that the brief swim in cold water was laughable, and I didn’t even have to think about how to solve the problem, falling straight back on the training I have done multiple time over the years. https://bigpigblog.com/2015/01/08/class-53415-practice-what-you-preach/,

Now more than ever, I stand by my training protocol, having witnessed first hand the benefits. My only tweak will be to address the prospect of having your backpack, even though we train for a “lost pack” scenario.

2. The components of my kit worked as intended. They are waterproof by nature (fatwood/innertube & garbage bag) or by design (PJ balls in wax paper). No leaks on the Strikeforce

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3. The Sea-to-Summit bag in my right cargo pocket containing my navigation tools leaked, not a lot, but enough that I will be sourcing a replacement.

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3. Both lighters were waterlogged, but working after I gave them some love.

4. The components of my first aid kit stayed dry, but I think I am going to double bag it from this point on. All my other gear’s performance was not affected by the water because of it’s nature (canteen, cook kit, etc.) and my headlamp worked fine.

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5. That falling in the lake is a great way to justify the mobile radio we need mounted in the boat. My portable radio made the swim okay, but if both it and my phone went down, I would have been out of luck except for the float plan I called in earlier that day.

**Update – 3/10/15 – Completed

6. Two hours before my swim I had been daydreaming of a new anchor system that I had come up with years ago. It would have prevented the boat shift and my procrastination on that project needs to end.

**Update – 2/2/15 – Completed

7. Plans are now in place for backpack storage on the front of the boat, so we don’t have to walk the ledge with our packs and rifles, and can wear our lifejackets up to the point of stepping off the boat.

**Update – 1/29/15 – Completed.

8. We have sleeping bags, pads, and a tarp on the boat. A dry sack of clothes will be added soon, complete with a change of shoes. My waterlogged boots soaked through my dry socks by the time I got to the station.

**Update – 2/2/15 – Completed

9. I can’t wait to test how much buoyancy my pack provides. While I unbuckle it during creek crossings, I keep it buckled on open water so it doesn’t get tangled up with my gun sling. I have swum with a pack on before during a canyoneering trip, but I want to experiment more now.

10. It is great to have a boss that came up through the field. He understands the exposure and took a plunge in the reek himself back in the day.

On Monday, I told my hunting partner. We had our laughs and then started planning on how to prevent it from happening again. I could have kept it all quiet, nobody would have known, but to do that robs me, him, and everyone else of a great learning opportunity and brings to mind a poignant quote..

“There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery. From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.”           – Robin Sharma

It’s not all Budweisers and bikinis when you work boat patrol. Having the right mindset, skills, and gear should be passengers on every trip..

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