Tag Archives: camping

BigPig Outdoors at REI Asheville…

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Wilderness emergencies can be prevented or managed by having the right mindset, skills, and gear. I pack 25+ years of stories and experience into my REI classes and we work hands on skills that can keep you alive. This year, we are also handing out my favorite emergency shelter and firestarters, having some of Team BUSAR visit, and donating some of the class fee to the team.

Headed to Asheville on February 15th.  Future dates will be posted on the calendar and class pages.

These classes tend to reach capacity rather quickly, so keep checking back to see when one is coming to your area. Knoxville only has 4 spots left.

REI Asheville link here

Other REI events:

REI Brentwood January 21

REI Knoxville January 30

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Fall Foraging & Survival 101 Dates Announced…

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Old Man Winter called me today and said it’s time to get the schedule out..

Survival 101:

http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.html

Fall foraging class will be Saturday, September 24th:

http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/poisonous–edible–medicinal—-useful-plants.html

 

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Survival Weekly 7/20/15…

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Image: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wreckage-found-search-miracle-teen-autumn-veatchs-plane-n392331

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 – 

Teen hikes out of wilderness after plane crash –   http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/15/us/washington-plane-crash-girl/

News – 

Robots for maritime SAR – http://www.marinelink.com/news/maritime-robots-search394711.aspx

Water Safety – 

Swimmer rescue or recovery

Hiking – 

New River Gorge National River (WV)
Stranded Visitors Rescued From Rimrocked Terrain

Four park visitors from Charleston West Virginia, headed down McKendree Road looking for a local swimming hole, faithfully following their GPS unit. McKendree Road is a state road that accesses remote and seldom visited areas of the park. The park has signed it as “rough road, 4×4 recommended.” They drove on McKendree Road, in their sedan, until they came upon a fallen tree completely blocking the road. They were only 1.8 miles from their destination according to the GPS.

Still trusting the GPS unit that had taken them down McKendree Road in the first place, they decided to walk to the swimming hole. The group walked until reaching Dowdy Creek. They could see the river and decided to walk down the hill towards river not knowing that they were entering some of the steepest and most heinous terrain in the park. On the way down, the terrain became almost vertical. Two members of the group, who had dropped lower on the hill than the others, discovered that they could not climb back up or go down any further. They began to call for help, calls which were overheard by NERI river patrol rangers.

River Ranger Matt McQueen was able to get to the rimrocked visitors and vector in responding units. Ranger Nate Freier set up a low angle belay to assist the stranded visitors back up through the steep terrain. Supported by ten NPS SAR team members, and a WV Department of Natural Resources officer, they made it up the hillside. The group of four was examined for injuries, and reunited near their car. Rangers assisted them in extricating the vehicle from the rough road.

Badlands National Park (SD)
Hiker Rescued After 125 Foot Fall

The Badlands search and rescue team responded to a mutual aid request by the Oglala Sioux Tribe mid-day on July 11th to assist with an injured hiker.

The 26-year old man had been hiking with three others and fell approximately 125 feet into a rugged canyon on Sheep Mountain Table, later determined to be on the boundary of Badlands National Park and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

SAR team members Tyson Nehrin and Ryan Frum repelled down and conducted the initial patient assessment, noting significant trauma to the patient’s head and an altered level of consciousness.  A paramedic from Black Hills Life Flight also repelled down and provided advanced life support.

Ranger Danny Baker, incident commander,  requested a Black Hawk medivac through the South Dakota National Guard to conduct a hoist operation. The visitor was successfully lifted into the Black Hawk along with the flight medic and transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Responding agencies included the Oglala Sioux Tribal Police Department, Badlands SAR, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Interior Volunteer Fire Department, Pennington County SAR, Rapid Valley Fire Department, South Dakota National Guard and Black Hills Life Flight.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Three Missing Sisters Found After Multi-Day Search

A large-scale, multi-day search for three missing sisters began on Tuesday, July 7th, after the girls’ mother notified Grand Teton National Park that they were overdue from a backpacking trip in the Teton area. Concern for their welfare mounted after they failed to meet their mother for a planned rendezvous in Chicago before a flight to Switzerland.

Rangers initially combed parking lots, trailheads and developed areas in the park to locate the vehicle in which they were traveling, but failed to find their SUV. On Wednesday, July 8th, the search expanded beyond Grand Teton, and the Teton County sheriff took over as the SAR incident commander after the girls’ SUV turned up at a trailhead on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, about 30 miles south of Jackson, Wyoming.

A total of 43 Grand Teton National Park personnel, along with a Teton Interagency contract helicopter, joined additional Teton County and Bridger-Teton National Forest searchers during the extensive search effort that lasted all day Wednesday and well into Thursday morning. Search personnel consisted of ground crews, dog teams, riders on horseback, and the interagency helicopter. Crews focused on nine search areas south-southeast of the Jackson area in the Gros Ventre Wilderness of Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The search for three missing sisters culminated when they were found at 10 a.m. on July 9th after a helpful tip from an area outfitter redirected the search effort. Megan Andrews-Sharer, 25, and her sisters Erin, 22, and Kelsi, 16, were spotted by searchers during a reconnaissance flight over a remote area in upper Horse Creek drainage, approximately seven miles west of where their vehicle was found on July 8th at the Swift Creek trailhead.

The hikers were cold, wet, and hungry but otherwise healthy, having spent several rainy and chilly nights in the backcountry. The girls left with appropriate clothing, a tent, sleeping bags, a water purifier, and other equipment for their multi-day trip, and these provisions allowed them to survive their unexpected situation. By staying together, using their tent, and rationing their food, they were able to wait for help to arrive. Shortly after they were spotted, the girls were flown to the Swift Creek trailhead and reunited with their father.

Searchers later learned that the three girls lost the trail on July 4th and decided to stick together and stay put in an effort to be more easily found and to not get into further trouble. This decision greatly increased their odds of being found. Their one significant mistake was not telling anyone what trailhead they were leaving from and their intended route.  Finding the SUV at the trailhead proved to be helpful because it reduced the search area from the 3.7 million acres and every highway between Jackson, Wyoming and Chicago, Illinois, to a search area of roughly 100 square miles.

The Andrews family gave a final press conference on July 10th in Jackson, which was well attended as this incident attracted both local and national media attention. The girls’ father wanted an opportunity to meet the agencies involved in the search and to thank them in front of the media. He specifically and favorably noted the support and substantial participation by NPS staff during the press conference.

This incident served as another great example of interagency cooperation among Grand Teton National Park, the Investigative Services Branch, the National Elk Refuge, Bridger Teton National Forest and the Teton County Sheriff’s office.

Missing toddler SAR suspended- http://www.kpax.com/story/29530595/grandma-of-missing-2-year-old-he-just-vanished

SAR suspended in Big Sur http://www.ksbw.com/news/big-sur-hiker-missing-5-days/34142814

Lightning strikes hikers – http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/2-struck-by-lightning-on-14er-in-chaffee-county

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Michel Morin, fisherman who was rescued by helicopter from the River Avon at The Dell Farm, Kirkmichael, Glenlivet, with the winchman during the rescue. Video by Christina Stewart, local resident.

Image: https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/moray/640719/angler-rescued-from-rapids-on-moray-river/

Hunter-gatherer – 

Fisherman rescued – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/moray/640719/angler-rescued-from-rapids-on-moray-river/

Fishermen rescued off coast – http://www.cp24.com/news/three-canadian-fishermen-rescued-off-massachusetts-coast-1.2479081

Climbing – 

Zion National Park (UT)
Canyoneer Dies Following Heaps Canyon Fall

Zion National Park was alerted to an injured canyoneer in Heaps Canyon mid-day on Saturday, July 12th. The 24-year-old Las Vegas man had apparently taken a 100-200 foot un-roped fall into a side canyon at approximately 7 p.m. the previous day. Three companions descended to him; one stayed with the injured man while the other two members of the party continued on through Heaps Canyon to get help.

Heaps Canyon is a strenuous, challenging technical canyon with an approximate 3000-foot descent. It usually takes 12 to 20 hours to complete, consists of a number of rappels into cold water, and ends with a final 280-foot rappel to the Upper Emerald Pool area.

Rescue efforts started early Sunday. With assistance from Grand Canyon National Park, a short-haul helicopter was sent to assist. Two Zion search and rescue team members were short-hauled into the canyon above. When they rappelled down they found the man deceased.

Climber rescued – http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/escambia-county/2015/07/19/kayaker-causes-water-rescue-near/30393571/

Climber rescued – http://www.aspentimes.com/news/17325188-113/climber-rescued-on-independence-pass

Vehicles – 

Small plane crash in SE Alaska – http://www.ktva.com/5-involved-in-southeast-alaska-plane-crash-out-of-juneau-950/

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://www.cp24.com/news/three-canadian-fishermen-rescued-off-massachusetts-coast-1.2479081

Survival Weekly – 6/30/15…

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Image: http://www.estesparknews.com/rmnp_news/article_3e7dc20a-1ea4-11e5-bd88-8f9cdaddb8cc.html

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 – 

30 minute hike leads to six day ordeal (thanks Mike for the link) – http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/national/Ontario+couple+walk+backcountry+surprisingly+good/11175703/story.html

News – 

Utah launches SAR card – http://www.parkrecord.com/summit_county-news/ci_28409494/search-and-rescue-card-program-launching-next-week

Nothing funny about prank calls to emergency services – http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/police-hunt-hoax-999-caller-5974015

Malfunctioning cell phone launches SAR – http://www.adn.com/article/20150626/malfunctioning-cellphone-sends-texts-help-ast-launches-helicopter

Inside the CAP – http://www.koaa.com/story/29425094/behind-the-scenes-and-in-the-sky-with-civil-air-patrol

Water Safety – 

Buffalo National River – AR
Swimmer Drowns In High Waters Of Buffalo River

Dispatch received a report on the evening of June 18th advising that a 22-year-old man had disappeared while swimming in the Buffalo River, which was near flood stage at the time of the incident.  The reporting party advised that the man and two companions swam across the river at Grinders Ferry; on their return swim, the victim began struggling, slipped beneath the surface of the river, and disappeared.

Hasty search operations were begun immediately via land and boat and continued until slightly after dark.  Search operations continued the following morning at first light, with efforts focusing on side-scanning, sonar-mounted motorboat operations.  Additional sonar operations continued on Saturday and Sunday, and dive operations were begun on Sunday.

On Monday morning, as dive teams were preparing to enter the water for the second day, District Ranger Mark Miller and Firefighter Tim Baron were making a motorboat sweep patrol to Gilbert when they located the body of the missing swimmer about two miles downstream from Grinders Ferry.  The body had been deposited by the river in a shallow depression on a sandbar about five vertical feet above the water line.

A recovery and investigation team was immediately deployed to that location to recover the body, which was transferred to the Searcy County coroner upon arriving back at Grinders Ferry.  The search and rescue mission utilized a unified command team comprised of the National Park Service and Searcy County Sheriff’s Office. Additional resources came from Mennonite Disaster Services Search and Rescue (Carroll County SAR), the American Red Cross, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Dive Team, Arkansas G&F wildlife officers, Benton County Dive Team, Searcy County Dive Team, BUFFSAR volunteers and numerous park staff.

Dinosaur National Monument
Searchers Recover Body Of Missing Rafter

The body of a missing rafter has been recovered by search and rescue staff from Dinosaur National Monument, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife near Triplet Falls on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. Based on interviews with members of the river group, the following is a summary of the event.

A 16-member private river trip ran Triplet Falls on Saturday, June 20th. After running the rapid, four members of the party hiked back upstream to run a section of the rapid known as the “Birth Canal” with a nine-foot paddle raft. The group made it through the “Birth Canal”, but hit a rock shortly below, and the raft flipped, dumping all four occupants into the river.

The paddle raft was flushed down river and recovered by other members of the group. Three of the rafters were able to swim to shore. The fourth occupant of the paddle raft, a 34-year-old man from Denver, Colorado, was briefly spotted in the water below the “Birth Canal” before he disappeared. Members of the group reported that he appeared to be stuck. The rafting party observed that his personal flotation device (PFD) and one shoe popped to the surface where he was last seen.

Members of the group searched for the missing rafter for approximately one to two hours. They then continued downstream on their rafts to seek assistance. They stopped for the night at Rippling Brook campsite as it was getting dark and did not want to risk rowing in the darkness.

On Sunday, the group arrived at the Echo Park Ranger Station at approximately 11:15 am where they notified a ranger of the incident. Monument staff contacted Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to assemble a response team.

The interagency response team under a unified command left Gates of Lodore by boat to Triplet Falls on Sunday evening. The group arrived at Triplet Falls to begin water-based search and recovery efforts on Monday. The victim was located at approximately 12:30 pm. His body was transported to Echo Park by raft.

Triplet Falls, which has a Class III difficulty rating, is located in a remote portion of Dinosaur National Monument about 12 river miles from the monument’s northern boundary. The area is surrounded by steep canyon walls rising 1,200 feet and higher above the river. There is no cell service in that portion of the monument. River flow was approximately 1,670 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the time of the incident.

SAR for cliff jumper – http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3837376.shtml

SAR for missing kayaker – http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Search-Underway-for-Missing-Boater-in-Fort-Worth-310343061.html

Hiking – 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Two Rescued From Mine Blocked By Rattlesnake

A man and a boy who entered Ore Car Mine off North Shore Road last Friday were unable to exit due to a rattlesnake blocking their path and called for help.

Rangers responded along with personnel from BLM, Henderson FD and Las Vegas Metro PD SAR. The pair were successfully extricated.

Hiker with heatstroke rescued http://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/South_Okanagan/15/06/29/Penticton_Search_and_Rescue_Respond_to_Hiker_with_Heat_Stroke

Lightning strike injures fifteen hikers – http://kdvr.com/2015/06/28/lightning-strike-injures-up-to-16-kills-dog-on-mount-bierstadt/

Lost & Injured hikers rescues –

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Image: http://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/South_Okanagan/15/06/29/Penticton_Search_and_Rescue_Respond_to_Hiker_with_Heat_Stroke

Hunter-gatherer – 

Missing hunter’s gear found – http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2015/06/29/items-belonging-missing-hunter-found-mountains/29487819/

Climbing – 

New River Gorge National River (WV)
Rangers Conduct Two Same-Day Rescues

Rangers were advised of a falling accident at Beauty Mountain on Tuesday morning. The interagency response team consisted of rangers, VFD members, and local EMS. Due to the nature of the call, an aeromedical helicopter from Air Evac launched and staged at Burnwood Ranger Station.

Rescuers quickly established contact with the injured man, began caring for him, and planned his evacuation. The Fayette County Rope Rescue Team and rangers rigged a technical rope rescue system and brought him to the cliff top via a litter raise. He was carried out to an ambulance and was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The preliminary investigation indicates that he fell from the cliff while down climbing without a rope or climbing gear in order to retrieve his cell phone, which he’d dropped over the cliff the previous evening.

Late that afternoon, the 911 center advised rangers that a woman had gone over Sandstone Falls on the New River.  Park staff responded to the Sandstone Falls visitor use area, while additional rangers responded to Sandstone landing with an NPS patrol boat. The woman and two male friends were spotted on a rock below the falls, and the NPS patrol boat was guided to the location. All three were transported to the shore and evaluated for injuries. The woman suffered minor head injuries, but refused treatment; she was transported to a hospital for follow-up by her friends. Hinton VFD and WV Department of Natural Resources officers assisted with the rescue.

Vehicles – 

 Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Park Beach

The pilot of a small plane carrying three passengers made an emergency landing near Lake Mead yesterday with only minor injuries to the occupants.

Just after 5 a.m., park dispatch received a call reporting that a small aircraft had landed at Special Events Beach along Boulder Beach. Rangers and personnel from the Clark County Fire Department, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search and Rescue, the Federal Aviation Administration, and Community Ambulance responded.

The pilot was flying his three passengers from North Las Vegas to El Paso. The three women, all from the El Paso area, were visiting Las Vegas for the weekend. Two were treated for minor injuries, but none of them were taken to the hospital.

According to the passengers, the plane’s engine stopped running over the mountains along the eastern side of the Boulder Basin. The passengers said the pilot circled back toward Boulder City to avoid landing in the mountains or on the water. They said the plane glided to a landing on Boulder Beach.

The aircraft, a 1979 Piper PA-32R-301 (also known as a Cherokee 6), landed on the beach between two portable restrooms. No facilities were damaged, and it doesn’t appear that there are any fuel leaks from the aircraft.

A portion of Special Events Beach will remain temporarily closed until the aircraft can safely be removed and the investigation by the FAA, National Transportation Safety Board and the park can be completed.

Injured horse rider rescued – http://county10.com/2015/06/29/horse-accident-leads-to-search-and-rescue-on-whiskey-mountain/

Injured biker rescued – http://www.estesparknews.com/rmnp_news/article_3e7dc20a-1ea4-11e5-bd88-8f9cdaddb8cc.html

SAR for missing vessel called off – http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/29/islands-focus-aceh-search-and-rescue-ends-8-still-missing.html

Tourist plane crashes in Alaska – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/alaska-plane-crash_n_7667966.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

injured biker

Image: http://www.estesparknews.com/rmnp_news/article_3e7dc20a-1ea4-11e5-bd88-8f9cdaddb8cc.html

Survival Weekly – 5/29/15…

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Christopher Jones / Rex Features ( 849154f ) RNLI Swanage lifeboat RNLI Swanage Lifeboat Crew, Swanage, Dorset, Britain - May 2008

Credit: Photo by Christopher Jones / Rex Features ( 849154f )
RNLI Swanage lifeboat RNLI Swanage Lifeboat Crew, Swanage, Dorset, Britain – May 2008

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 – 

Ham operator rescued from mountain top –   http://www.skyhidailynews.com/news/16411066-113/grand-county-search-and-rescue-plucks-radio-operator

News – 

Tracking equipment aids urban searches – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wairarapa-times-age/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503414&objectid=11452224

The cost of doing business – http://www.skyhidailynews.com/news/16514082-113/search-and-rescue-card-is-a-good-investment

Drones aid in flood searches – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2015/05/29/drone-operators-assist-search-and-rescue-efforts-after-devastating-floods-in-texas/

Water Safety – 

SAR team describes body recovery operations   https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/05/19/kss-to-search-and-serve-diver-describes-quail-creek-body-recovery-mission/#.VWkS8M-6fIU

Seamen missing –http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2015/05/21/search-and-rescue-called-off-for-missing-seamen-from-barge/

SAR for missing diver http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/24/rescuers-search-diver-failed-resurface-swanage-dorset

 SAR for missing diver called off– http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rescue-teams-call-search-diver-5758886

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Image: http://missoulian.com/news/local/search-and-rescue-finds-man-lost-north-of-whitefish/article_4681e024-ce99-56a2-a7ef-3dcc255b7762.html

Hiking – 

Smoke signal leads to rescue – http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/search-and-rescue-finds-lost-hikers-near-mount-aix/article_a424d7b8-026d-11e5-81e3-b3dbf1543100.html

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Rangers Rescue Man After Fall Into Canyon

Rangers saved a man from New York after he fell approximately 25 feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on Sunday, May 10th.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., a 71-year-old man was attempting to take a picture of a sign at Grand View at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone when he stumbled backwards over a stone barrier and into the canyon.  After falling approximately 25 feet, he was able to stop himself at the top of a precipice by bracing his body and feet on opposing sides of a small crevice.  A visitor who witnessed the man’s fall ran to a nearby parking lot to call 911.

The first two rangers on scene threw a looped rope down to the man and secured him to a sign and tree at the top of the canyon. Park employees and members of the park’s technical rescue team responded to the scene and set up a system of ropes and pulleys to carry out the rescue.  One harnessed member of the technical rescue team descended to the man’s location and secured him to the pulley system.  The man was then able to walk to safety with assistance from the ropes, pulleys, and ranger.

According to staff on scene, the man was extremely lucky.  The crevice and the angle of his body during the fall helped the man stop at the top of a 200 foot drop.  A fall just inches to the left might have resulted in a fatality, as the canyon wall is mostly steep loose rock.

The man was transported by ground ambulance to a helicopter ambulance for a possible hip injury.  Seventeen Park Service staff assisted with this rescue.

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Missing bear hunters rescued http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/missing-grizzly-hunters-located-alive-near-mackenzie-b-c-1.3087849

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Fisherman Rescued From Delaware River

On the morning of Thursday, May 7th, park dispatch received a report from several fisherman of a man yelling for help on an overturned kayak across from Eshback.

Rangers patrolling the New Jersey section of the park were on scene within minutes of the initial report. They found that a 78-year-old New Jersey man had overturned his anchored kayak while fishing, that he’d been in the water for approximately 30 minutes prior to the initial report, and that he was wearing a lifejacket that was not properly fitted. The water temperature at the time was 59 degrees.

Within five to ten minutes of locating the man, he began to complain of shaking uncontrollably, had difficulty answering basic questions, and said that he couldn’t hold on much longer.  Due his distance from shore, the rangers could not reach him with a throw bag. With the rescue vessel still 15 to 20 minutes out, it was decided that the rangers would enter the water to attempt a rescue.

Two rangers wearing properly fitting PFDs entered the river and were secured by several throw bags. They swam half way across the river, reached the man, and cut the anchor line to his kayak. Two rangers on the shoreline then pulled all three to safety.

A waiting ambulance took the man to a local hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia. He was released from the hospital later that day.

Climbing – 

Climbing fatality – http://fox13now.com/2015/05/21/man-seriously-injured-after-falling-50-100-feet-search-and-rescue-responding/

Inter-agency training ops – http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/2015/05/23/military-rescuers-ready-to-help-if-trouble-hits-on-mt-rainier/27839593/

Climber rescued – http://www.kvoa.com/story/29151615/windy-point-rock-climber-rescued-after-falling-over-40-feet

Vehicles – 

 Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Airplane Wreckage Found Near Emerald Canyon

Members of a private boating trip reported the wreckage of an airplane to park rangers at Diamond Creek on May 20th. The boaters informed the rangers that they found the plane with human remains inside during a hike near Emerald Canyon.

Inclement weather prevented rangers from responding to the scene via helicopter until this past Sunday. They first recovered the remains, which await identification from the Coconino County medical examiner, then packaged the plane in a sling load and recovered it using a long line.

The wreckage matches the description of an airplane that disappeared in 2011. That plane, a red RV6 homebuilt experimental aircraft, was last seen at Grand Canyon Airport around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11, 2011. The NPS used both an airplane and a helicopter in search efforts at that time, covering 2,000 air miles over a 600-square-mile search area.  Civil Air Patrol’s Nevada Wing, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center assisted in that search. Search activities continued on a limited basis after April 1, 2011.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

ATV riders rescued – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/chilliwack-sar-rescues-2-atv-riders-1.3085022

More ATV riders rescued http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/search-and-rescue-operation-finds-overdue-atv-riders/article_6e02d724-028c-11e5-ba79-936a5d928ec2.html

Off-roader rescued – http://missoulian.com/news/local/search-and-rescue-finds-man-lost-north-of-whitefish/article_4681e024-ce99-56a2-a7ef-3dcc255b7762.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

dt.common.streams.StreamServer

Image: http://www.skyhidailynews.com/news/16514082-113/search-and-rescue-card-is-a-good-investment

Survival Weekly – 5/19/15…

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(Image:  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/injured-hiker-found-red-rock-canyon)

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 – 

Hot damn!! Another story with a whistle use – http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/injured-hiker-found-red-rock-canyon check out this link for my unfinished whistle project https://bigpigblog.com/2014/05/05/whistlemania-i/

And buy your kids some whistles if they play in the woods – http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/05/17/03/33/police-searching-for-northern-qld-boys

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)

Visitor Injured In Encounter With Bison

A Taiwanese girl sustained serious but not life threatening injuries in an encounter with a bison in the Old Faithful area on Friday, May 16th.

Shortly after noon, the 16-year-old exchange student was visiting Upper Geyser Basin with her host family. While hiking near Old Faithful Geyser, the family joined a group of people watching a bison grazing adjacent to the trail. According to firsthand reports, the group was somewhere between three and six feet from the bison. The girl turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken when the bison lifted its head, took a couple steps and gored her.

When responding rangers arrived on scene, there was a group of people fewer than ten feet from the grazing bison. The rangers, with assistance from bystanders, moved the girl a safe distance from the bison. The girl was transported to the Old Faithful Clinic, treated and then flown to a hospital by helicopter ambulance for further medical treatment.

News – 

Good article on extreme circumstances –  http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/four-horrible-things-people-did-to-survive-the-wilderness/51206/

Water Safety – 

Crews recover body of missing boater http://www.ammoland.com/2015/05/search-and-rescue-crews-recover-body-of-missing-boater-in-louisiana/#axzz3abQc18js

Hiking – 

Death Valley National Park (CA)
Lost Visitor Rescued After A Week In The Desert

On Saturday, May 9th, rangers received a report that a white pickup truck had been parked for several days at Saline Valley Dunes, a remote area only accessible to 4×4 vehicles.

Rangers searched the area on Sunday but were unable to locate anyone associated with the truck. Through investigation, they determined that it had been rented by a single person and had not been returned by the rental contract’s termination date.

On Monday, the Beverly Hills Police Department checked at the man’s home and confirmed that he was overdue and a search was begun. Rangers were joined by Inyo County SAR, China Lake Mountain Rescue, and California Highway Patrol’s helicopter H80.

On Tuesday morning, H80 was re-tasked to another SAR which was occurring simultaneously at Mesquite Sand Dunes. Once H80 cleared Mesquite Sand Dunes, the crew returned to assist in the Saline Valley search efforts. San Bernadino, Tehachapi, California Rescue Dog Association, and Kern Valley SAR groups also joined the search. Around 10 a.m., H80 located the missing man, who was roughly five miles from his vehicle and to the east of the dune complex.

The man reportedly set out alone for a day hike on the morning of Tuesday, May 5th, and became disoriented. Unable to find his way back to his vehicle, he followed a group of burros to a watering hole where he subsisted until rescue arrived. The man was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital where he is being treated for second degree sunburn and a rhabdomyolysis.

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Bear hunter rescued – http://www.adn.com/article/20150515/bear-hunter-rescued-thunder-mountain-juneau

Fisherman treads water for five hours before being rescued – http://www.wesh.com/news/missing-boater-found-safe-22-miles-off-florida-coastline/33077818

Capsized kayak fishermen rescued – https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/05/14/couple-helps-rescue-capsized-kayaker-scituate/Iyc4R1OEFj2stk3EAY45XN/story.html

Fishermen rescued – http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/578229/Isles-of-Scilly-rescue-Five-fisherman-airlifted-life-raft-boat-sank image

Climbing – 

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
One Killed In Avalanche, Four Rescued

A team of rangers, emergency medical personnel, Teton County SAR team members and a contract helicopter quickly swung into action Sunday morning to rescue four backcountry ski mountaineers who were involved in an avalanche on the northeast face of Mount Moran.

Luke Lynch, 38, was killed in the avalanche and one of his companions, Stephen P. Adamson, Jr.,  42, sustained life-threatening injuries, prompting evacuation by helicopter. Two other companions – Brook Yeomans, 37, who suffered minor injuries, and Zahan Billimoria , 37, who escaped injury – were also evacuated via helicopter as continuing avalanche activity and a steady cycle of snow squalls across the Tetons made the multi-staged rescue operation more challenging.

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a 911 transfer call from Teton County at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and quickly contacted park rangers, who immediately began a coordinated rescue operation. Because of the remote location on Mount Moran and the report of multiple injured persons, rangers quickly staged at and responded from the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache, located at Lupine Meadows near the base of Teewinot Mountain. Rangers also summoned the Teton County SAR contract helicopter.

The four ski mountaineers were ascending the steep Sickle Couloir on Mount Moran when a shallow wet slough avalanche released from above. The snow slide swept three of the mountaineers downslope for approximately 500 feet over rock and ice covered terrain. Billimoria was able to move out of the heavier portion of the debris flow and was not caught in the slide. He quickly descended to his teammates, called 911, and began the difficult task of administering aid to his three companions.

Light snowfall on the slopes above continued to cause additional sloughs that repeatedly hit the group, requiring Billimoria to work desperately to move Adamson and Lynch to a safer location. Although injured, Yeomans was able to descend slowly downslope under his own power.

After a slight lull in the recurring snowstorms over the Teton peaks, the Teton County SAR helicopter was able to deliver several rescuers to the base of the couloir. A Teton County SAR member was short-hauled to the scene to aid in the evacuation of Adamson, who receiving emergency medical care by park rangers on site and getting package for airlift off the mountain.

Adamson and the Teton County SAR member were both short-hauled directly to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache where a team of medics and the park’s medical director, Dr. Will Smith, provided additional emergency care before Adamson was transported by park ambulance to the Jackson Hole Airport. Upon reaching the airport, Adamson was transferred to a fixed wing air ambulance that flew him to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The Teton County SAR helicopter subsequently returned to pick up the two other avalanche survivors and transport them out of the backcountry. Additional flights were made to bring out Lynch’s body, as well as the remaining park rangers and their rescue gear. All rescue personnel were safely out of the mountains by 3 p.m.

Redwood National and State Parks (CA)
Woman Rescued From Ocean Cliff Face

On the morning of May 13th, rangers received a report of a woman stuck on a cliff face near the Damnation Creek Trail. Rangers responded to the woman’s location and found that she was approximately 150 feet up a 250-foot cliff above the Pacific Ocean. The woman had climbed the cliff face to escape being trapped by the rising tide.

It was determined that a technical rescue would result in a high level of risk to involved personnel, so the United States Coast Guard was contacted and performed a hoist operation, removing the woman from her perch.

The National Park Service managed the incident with assistance from California State Parks, Del Norte County Search and Rescue, CAL FIRE, and the USCG.

Click on the following link to see a YouTube video of the rescue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44EgoeXXKsc

Denali National Park & Preserve (AK)
Body Of Argentine Climber Found On Mount McKinley

The body of an Argentinian solo climber was discovered at the 17,200-foot high camp of Mount McKinley just before midnight on Sunday, May 10th. Heraldo Javier Callupan, 39, of General Roca, Argentina, appears to have died of unknown medical issues.

Callupan began his ascent of the West Buttress route on May 1st. According to other climbing parties at the 14,200-foot camp, he headed up to the 17,200-foot high camp on May 6th.  No other parties were camped at 17,200 feet between May 6th and May 10th, the date when the climber’s remains were found by a two-person team upon their arrival at high camp. Callupan was found lying in the snow in the middle of the camp plateau with no visible signs of trauma.

That night, the reporting team used FRS radio to report the event to pararescuemen from the Alaska Air National Guard’s 212th Rescue Squadron who were camped at 14,200 feet. The pararescuemen then relayed the discovery to NPS mountaineering rangers in Talkeetna via satellite phone.

Due to delays in direct communication with the original reporting team, and with no NPS ranger staff positioned at the 17,200-foot high camp this early in the season, it took several days to make a positive determination of the man’s identity. NPS staff worked with the Argentine consulate to notify Callupan’s next of kin on Wednesday, May 13th.

Callupan’s remains will be recovered from the 17,200-foot camp when NPS mountaineering rangers are safely acclimatized for the recovery effort and when weather conditions allow.  The remains will then be transferred to the State of Alaska medical examiner.

Denali National Park & Preserve (AK)
Two Climbers Rescued From Mount Dickey

Two climbers from Idaho were rescued from 7,500 feet on Mount Dickey after triggering a slab avalanche the evening of Monday, May 12th.

Luckily, Saxon Spellman, 27, and Michael Wachs, 24, were not caught in the slide and were not injured. The two men attempted to self-evacuate from the mountain, but found no safe exit routes. The stranded climbers were observed by an air taxi pilot waving their arms above an ‘SOS’ stomped out in the snow on the west shoulder of Mount Dickey.

Once NPS ranger staff was notified of the distress call, Denali’s high altitude A-Star B3e helicopter and two mountaineering rangers flew to Ruth Gorge.  Rangers made a positive identification of the two climbers, who had just activated their SPOT device.  Pilot Andy Hermansky was able to land the helicopter on a flat section of the peak and evacuated Spellman and Wachs without further incident.

Mount Dickey is a 9,545-foot technical peak located in Denali National Park and Preserve’s Ruth Gorge area. No other climbers besides Spellman and Wachs were observed climbing Mount Dickey that day.

Following several new feet of snow coupled with windy conditions in the Alaska Range, NPS rangers have observed widespread avalanche activity in the Ruth and Kahiltna Glacier areas.  Following the one near miss on Mount Dickey which took place several days after the storm, the avalanche conditions appear to be lingering.  The conditions are widespread, occurring on many aspects of the peaks and spanning a broad range of elevations.

Climbers have been advised to exercise caution due to the persistent nature of the avalanche hazard.  For ongoing condition reports, climbers are directed to http://www.nps.gov/dena/mountainblog.htm.

Overdue climbers rescued – http://globalnews.ca/news/2003589/search-and-rescue-crews-kept-busy-over-the-long-weekend/

Vehicles – 

Injured mountain biker rescued – http://infotel.ca/newsitem/skaha-bluffs-claims-another-victim-sar-to-the-rescue/it19491 image

Missing Marine SAR helicopter found – http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/world/asia/missing-us-marine-helicopter-is-found-in-nepal-official-says.html?_r=0

Missing mountain biker SAR – http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2015/05/17/larimer-county-rescue/27505335/

Injured dirtbiker rescued – http://fox13now.com/2015/05/16/weather-complicates-rescue-of-injured-motorcyclist-in-bountiful-area/

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/skaha-bluffs-claims-another-victim-sar-to-the-rescue/it19491 )

Survival Weekly – 4/13/15…

HelicopterOverVolcano_large

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 – 

Autistic boy rescued from bush after four days http://abc7news.com/news/autistic-boy-lost-in-australian-forest-found-after-4-days/637865/

Inside the search –  http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/searchers-in-the-shadows-inside-the-hunt-for-luke-20150411-1mi6zg.html

News – 

“Denali Justice” released http://www.adn.com/article/20150408/denali-justice-examines-legal-fallout-botched-1981-mount-mckinley-rescue

Water Safety – 

Missouri National Recreational River (SD)
Search For Missing Boy Enters Third Day

A multi-agency search and rescue operation was begun on the evening of April 5th when a six-year-old boy went missing at Yankton’s Riverside Park. The boy was reported to be fishing with family members when he fell off the dock into the Missouri River.

Yankton County Search and Rescue and the Yankton Police Department responded to the park at approximately 7:30 p.m. and began a shoreline-based ground search. The Yankton County Search and Rescue dive team arrived shortly thereafter and searched in the water in the area of the boat dock. Search efforts continued until midnight when they were called off due to poor weather and cold temperatures.

On April 6th, the Yankton Police Department, Nebraska Game and Parks, Yankton County Emergency Management, Cedar County Emergency Management, and South Dakota Game Fish and Parks joined in the search, employing towed sonar to locate underwater anomalies.  A helicopter from Avera-McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls performed limited aerial searching due to poor weather, with a dog team from Brookings, South Dakota, assisting.  The Yankton County Sheriff’s Office continues to coordinate search efforts, and Yankton Police Department is handling the investigation.

Searching will continue in coming days, with the focus moving towards recovery plans, but are being hampered by cold and rainy conditions, swift currents, and deep water. The NPS will continue to be engaged in helping locate this young boy through continued assistance in this interagency effort.

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Hiking – 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Rangers Rescue Seriously Injured Hiker

On the afternoon of March 29th, rangers rescued a hiker who had taken a fall onto a pile of rocks a little over two-and-a-half miles from the Ramsey Cascades Trailhead.

The hiker had sustained chest trauma and required evacuation by litter carryout from the backcountry over very rough terrain. The challenge of patient care increased when his airway became compromised subsequent to the chest injury.

In addition to the deterioration of his condition, the extrication from the backcountry required the park’s technical SAR team to construct a Tyrolean traverse to get the patient safely across a river. The SAR operation took a total of seven hours from the time of injury to the waiting ambulance at the trailhead.

The injured hiker was flown by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center and immediately admitted to the OR. Prior to departing the landing zone, ambulance personnel and flight medics had to perform a surgical cricothyrotomy to secure the airway. The patient is expected to make a full recovery.

Ranger Brad Griest was the incident commander. Go Brad!!

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Hunter rescued http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/injured-hunter-rescued-from-waimakariri-gorge-2015040910

Climbing – 

Video of hoist – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/545862/video-dramatic-rescue-two-women-climbers-ben-nevis/

Climber rescued – http://kron4.com/2015/04/11/coastal-bluff-climber-rescued-in-sea-ranch-after-fall/

Vehicles – 

SAR assists drivers – http://icelandreview.com/news/2015/04/08/search-and-rescue-assist-drivers-mountain-pass

SAR for missing snowmobiler – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/search-continues-for-missing-62-year-old-snowmobiler-1.3029828

Snowmobiler and skiers rescued – http://www.thefreepress.ca/news/299568901.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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