Tag Archives: climbing

Survival Weekly – 11/24/14…


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 – 

Great article about bears tracking hunters. It has happened to me several times and one of my co-workers had a big bear that was tracking him finish off an injured hog over at Pretty Hollow Gap years ago. Having a bear follow you down the trail in the middle of the night, miles from anywhere, waiting for the dinner bell to ring can be a little unnerving. Another safety plus of thermal monoculars if you do control work in bear country –  http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/11/24/gps-study-tracks-grizzlies-as-follow-hunters/

Pretty common scenario. No flashlights, dying cell phone, lower extremity injury. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/nov/23/hiker-lost-cuyamaca-julian-ramona/

Flashlights, trip plans, maps, charged cell phones, and first aid training are cheap companions on a trip.

News – 

SAR drone challenge – http://theconversation.com/robots-in-the-skies-how-outback-joe-was-found-and-rescued-34234

Innovative agency gets dispatchers out in the field – http://www.sltrib.com/news/1855872-155/911-dispatchers-go-up-in-the

Blood stopping gel in the works – http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_landolina_this_gel_can_make_you_stop_bleeding_instantly

Hiking – 

Lost hikers found –http://www.agassizharrisonobserver.com/news/283402241.html

Clues of missing hiker found at mine shaft –http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/Red-Rock-Search-and-Rescue-find-missing-mans-cell-phone-283603351.html

Lost hiker found –http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/Devon-student-rescued-getting-lost-Dartmoor/story-24596588-detail/story.html

Surveyor airlifted after fall – http://www.independent.ie/regionals/newrossstandard/news/fears-grow-as-search-for-paul-21-continues-30751506.html

Hunter-Gatherer –

Search called off for missing hunter – http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/search-called-off-for-missing-hunter-richard-kothanek-at-meadow-creek-reservoir-near-frasier

Climbing – 

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Body Of Missing Climber Found

During helicopter search operations yesterday, the body of Peter Jeffris, missing since last Sunday, was found 200 feet below the Ledges on the Keyhole Route.

A park SAR team was flown to a landing spot in the Glacier Gorge drainage and four team members climbed approximately 1,800 vertical feet to where Jeffris was found. His body was flown from the scene to a landing spot at Upper Beaver Meadows at approximately 4 p.m. and transferred to the Boulder County Coroner.

Jeffris was reported overdue the afternoon of Monday, November 17th, when he did not arrive at work. His vehicle was located in the parking lot at the Longs Peak Trailhead.  He reportedly left Sunday morning to summit Longs Peak.

Safety was a top priority in determining when and where rescue personnel could search for Jeffris.  Winter conditions, including extreme winds and below freezing temperatures, made search and recovery operations even more difficult.  These challenging conditions hampered search operations, particularly above tree line, over the past three days.  With Thursday’s calmer winds, searchers were able to utilize a helicopter, making it possible to cover a much larger area and ultimately locate Jeffris.

Over the multiple day search, park SAR teams were assisted by Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue, Alpine Rescue Team, Diamond Peak Ski Patrol, Douglas County Search and Rescue, Search Dogs of Colorado and the Colorado Search and Rescue Board.  Park staff also worked with the US Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

Empty pack sparks search – http://www.westbriton.co.uk/rucksack-sparks-scale-search-rescue/story-24553769-detail/story.html

Water Safety – 

Body recovery on Kern river – http://www.onebakersfield.com/2014/11/search-and-rescue-volunteers-assist-in-removing-body-from-the-kern-river/

Tragic end for fishing trip – http://www.wexfordpeople.ie/news/body-of-local-fisherman-recovered-after-massive-search-operation-30766122.html

Rescue crews stage for melting snow threats – http://wivb.com/2014/11/21/rescue-crews-arriving-from-across-the-state/

Search underway for missing diver – http://www.hawkesbay.co.nz/general/general/14471-police-and-search-and-rescue-teams-resume-the-hunt-for-a-missing-diver-in-central-hawkes-bay

Vehicles – 

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD)
Missing Man’s Body Found By Searchers

On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 5th, a Mount Rushmore employee reported an unattended vehicle in a legal but uncommonly used parking pullout on the west side of the park. Rangers responded, located the vehicle, conducted an NCIC inquiry, and received a return for a local man from Rapid City with no outstanding wants or warrants against him.

Approximately three-and-a-half hours later, park dispatch was notified of a late return from NCIC on the above vehicle that advised that the registered owner was listed as being a missing/endangered person. Rangers returned to the area to investigate and discovered the vehicle at the same place.

Additional personnel, including the park’s explosives detection canine unit (which is also trained in human tracking), were called in to begin a search.  They were joined by personnel from assisting agencies.

Approximately 15 minutes after the search began, the man was found about 40 yards from the roadway at the base of a 40-foot cliff.  A deputy coroner on scene confirmed that he was dead and that he probably died from a fall from the 40 foot cliff. No weapons were found at the scene.

Keystone Ambulance Service and Keystone Volunteer Fire Department assisted in removing the body. Pennington County is leading the investigation with the NPS and FBI assisting.

High angle rescue saves three – http://www.dailybulletin.com/general-news/20141122/ontario-whittier-men-rescued-after-driving-off-malibu-cliff

Urban – 

Missing elderly man found  – http://www.paradisepost.com/general-news/20141119/search-and-rescue-crews-find-missing-magalia-man

Urban SAR underway – http://www.independent.ie/regionals/newrossstandard/news/fears-grow-as-search-for-paul-21-continues-30751506.html

Interested in learn 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.html


Survival Weekly – 11/18/14…


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 – 

Good expose on SAR in Iceland – http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2014/rescued-from-the-land-of-fire-and-ice/

News – 

“Hike Safe” cards coming to New Hampshire – http://www.actionhub.com/stories/2014/11/17/hike-safe-cards-coming-new-hampshire/

Hiking – 

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Overdue Backpacker Found In Good Condition

On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 6th, overdue hiker William Roberts was located outside Kings Canyon National Park in the adjacent Sierra National Forest. Searchers found the 62-year-old Virginia man in good condition in Crown Valley.

On October 30th, Roberts departed alone from the Rancheria Trailhead on the Sierra National Forest. He planned to hike to Tehipite Dome in Kings Canyon National Park, then, after several days in Tehipite Valley, return to the Rancherita Trailhead by November 3rd.  Dispatch was notified that he was overdue on the morning of November 5th.

Sixteen National Park Service and twenty Fresno County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue personnel were involved in searching by ground and helicopter, conducting interviews, and planning search operations. An NPS helicopter, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Eagle One, and California Highway Patrol’s helicopter H40 also assisted.

The search area, located approximately 35 miles southeast of Huntington Lake, ranged from elevations of 4,000 to 9,000 feet. The first significant storm of the season passed through the area on October 31st and November 1st, resulting in 12 to 18 inches of snowfall at higher elevations and heavy rain at lower elevations.

Two hikers rescued from canyon –  http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/11/15/ccj-sar-team-rescues-2-hikers-from-snow-canyon-state-park/#.VGq4r_lpf58

Stranded hikers rescued – http://www.albanytribune.com/17112014-sheriffs-office-search-rescue-saves-two-stranded-hikers/

Teams battle extreme weather is search for missing hiker – http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/11/18/search-for-missing-man-in-rmnp-hindered-by-extreme-weather-conditions/

Hunter-gatherer – 

Missing hunter rescued – http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/search-and-rescue-retrieve-hunter-from-kaimai-range-2014111811

Climbing – 

New River Gorge National River (WV)
Rangers Rescue Injured Climber

A rock climber from Ohio was climbing the New River Gunks route in the Junkyard area, a 5.7 sport route supported by a top bolt, when he lost his grip, fell from 12 to 14 feet, landed in the sitting position, then fell backwards and hit his head.

Fellow climbers reported that the injured man used an old cam device someone had left on the route. No one knew where the old device came from or how long it had been there. The climber clipped into the device about ten feet above the ground and continued to climb up the route. He then lost his grip and fell. The cable attached to the device broke and failed to arrest his fall.

Rangers, an ambulance crew, and local first responders were dispatched to the accident after fellow climbers called it into the Fayette County 911 center. Rangers determined that the man had a possible broken wrist, back injury, and a minor head injury. He was not wearing a helmet.

Rangers, climbers, and first responders carried him out in a litter. Two low angle belays were set to support the team as they carried him out the steep trail to a waiting ambulance. He was transported to Raleigh General Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Friends and family mourn loss of Bend climber – http://www.ktvz.com/news/storm-stymies-search-for-fallen-middle-sister-climber/29708126

Runaway teen rescued off cliff – http://www.hoodrivernews.com/news/2014/nov/15/team-works-together-runaway-cliffhanger/

Water Safety –

Airman swept out to sea – http://sfbay.ca/2014/11/12/elite-search-and-rescue-airman-swept-off-beach/

Body recovered at Lake Mead – http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/282821401.html

Vehicles – 

Search for missing Cessna – http://www.cfra.com/news/2014/11/12/search-and-rescue-operation-underway-for-missing-cessna-near-haliburton

Another missing Cessna – http://www.kvoa.com/news/search-and-rescue-for-two-people-on-plane-continues/

Lost mountain biker rescued – http://www.oc-breeze.com/2014/11/14/62078_ocsd-search-and-rescue-finds-lost-mountain-biker/

Stranded drivers rescued – http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2014/11/18/marion-county-search-and-rescue-locate-vehicle-stuck-in-snow/19242253/

Urban – 

Search underway for elderly man – http://www.orovillemr.com/general-news/20141116/search-and-rescue-crews-look-for-missing-magalia-man

Interested in learn 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.html


Survival Weekly – 11/11/14…


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 tool. – BPO

Featured – 

Good write up on missing teen hunters –  http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Borrowed+boat+wilderness+skills+likely+saved+missing+teens/10368937/story.html

Inside thoughts from a NSW search –  http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/11/10/4125210.htm?site=centralwest

News – 

Don’t step on that roach!! It might be a rescuer –   http://nypost.com/2014/11/07/cockroaches-might-one-day-save-your-life/

High tech dog communication harness – http://kuow.org/post/innovation-harness-could-allow-dogs-humans-communicate

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Missing elk hunters found – http://fox13now.com/2014/11/10/missing-hunters-rescued-in-provo-one-with-minor-hypothermia/

Missing moose hunters found – http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/4990017-missing-teens-rescued-from-saskatchewan-lake/

Missing deer hunter found – http://www.kptv.com/story/27346166/after-2-days-with-no-survival-gear-lost-hunter-emerges-in-douglas-co

Hiking – 

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/11/08/student-got-lost-hiking-rescued/

Climbing – 

Climbing fatality in Utah – http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/search-and-rescue-crews-responding-to-fall-in-bell/28748/8tKAKdofikCKPZ2AHBdSmQ

Water Safety –

Gateway National Recreation Area
Efforts To Revive Man On Wrecked Sailboat Prove Fruitless

On the afternoon of October 30th, rangers from the park’s Sandy Hook Unit received a call from park dispatcher Kim Eubanks regarding an unconscious man who’d washed up onto the shore at Echo Beach.

Rangers Dustin Parker, Romale “Orlando” Lovelace, Adam Hubert, Ryan McLeod and Acting Fire Chief/Ranger Frank DeLuca responded.

Lovelace, who arrived within three minutes of Eubanks’ call and was the first on scene, advised that a sailboat approximately 25 feet long had crashed onto the shoreline.  The NPS ambulance arrived on scene within six minutes. Mutual aid was also requested from Sea Bright Fire and EMS and from Monmouth and Ocean County paramedics.

With the assistance of the bystander who reported the incident, Parker and Lovelace removed the man from the sailboat and onto the beach.  They immediately began CPR on the victim and utilized an AED, but were unsuccessful in their attempts.

Rangers worked with the Monmouth County medical examiner, US Coast Guard, and the New Jersey State Police Marine, Major Crime, and Crime Scene Units on the investigation.

Preliminary results have shown that the death was caused by a medically-related issue prior to the vessel crashing onto the shoreline.

SAR team recovers body after boating accident –  http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Search-and-Rescue-Mission-at-Highland-Lake-282081271.html

SAR underway for missing boater – http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1411/S00170/search-rescue-incident-invercargill.htm

Vehicles – 

SAR continues for missing truck passenger –  http://www.castanet.net/news/BC/126351/Weather-hampers-search & http://www.terracestandard.com/news/281946141.html

Urban – 

Search for dementia patient – http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/11/clay_man_still_missing_after_renewed_search_efforts_investigation_continues.html

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

And for the BSORT crew…


Survival 101 dates announced!!…


It’s fall, so you load up the family and drive to the mountains to enjoy the beautiful colors. Your family decides to hike up a popular trail that afternoon. The hike takes longer than you expected and night starts to creep in.You have no flashlight and the light on your cell phone is not bright enough to walk the slick trail safely.

You call 911 for help, but the spotty cell phone reception drops your call before you can give your location. You try again with no luck. Fear starts to creep in as the kids start to cry.

Your water is low, you ate all your food, and you don’t have anything to keep you warm other than the fleece jackets you are wearing. You try to start a fire, but everything is wet. Temperatures start to dip into the 30’s. Your kids are cold and start to shiver. You hope that rescuers are on the way, but realize that they have no clue of your whereabouts in the 500,000 acre park. You huddle with your family and pray that you make it through the night.

This isn’t fiction, it is reality. http://www.wbir.com/story/news/local/2014/10/19/rangers-help-lost-family-off-mt-leconte/17551633/

Wilderness emergencies can happen to anyone of us that choose to venture into the great outdoors. Chances are that you won’t be stranded on some remote island naked with a cute girl, but most likely you will be injured, wet, and/or facing a night out without proper gear. https://bigpigblog.com/category/survival-stories/

Understanding the true nature of wilderness survival scenarios is the first step. Next, you need to learn the skills to handle them and then train them under real world conditions. That is where BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class excels.

Old Man Winter is here, so Survival 101 class dates are announced. Click here to learn how you can get the “pressure tested” skills, knowledge, and confidence to survive the night and more – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.html


Survival Weekly – 11/5/14…


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 tool. – BPO

Featured –

Hunting season is here. Itineraries, skills, and the proper gear are a good plan.

Seven days, six nights, unprepared hunter rescued – http://www.krcrtv.com/news/local/hunter-pilot-share-daring-search-and-rescue-story/29424548

News –

Cody Lundin speaks out about “Survival TV” –https://tv.yahoo.com/news/special-report-dangerous-side-survival-tv-205000449.html

Australia picks new SAR contractor –http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2014-10-28/australia-chooses-cobham-future-search-and-rescue

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Lost hunter found – http://tdn.com/news/local/search-crew-locates-lost-vancouver-hunter-near-kalama-horse-camp/article_d4f90ada-645c-11e4-a584-27739f19c2b8.html

Elk hunters rescued – http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/nov/03/mount-st-helens-rescue-toutle-stranded-hunters/

Injured hunter rescued –  http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20141101/NEWS01/141109966//article/20141101/NEWS01/141109966/Rescue-underway-for-man-on-Missionary-Ridge-

Crew of fishing vessel rescued – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fisherman-found-dead-2-missing-4554434

Fishermen rescued – http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/Two-Fisherman-Rescued-From-Pyramid-Lake-281196281.html

Missing teen hunter found – http://www.kvewtv.com/article/2014/oct/28/lost-14-year-old-hunter-found/

Missing mushroom hunter found – http://www.kptv.com/story/27020244/search-and-rescue-finds-missing-mushroom-picker-still-looking-for-two-lost-hikers

Hiking –

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA)
Woman Killed In Fall From Coastal Trail

Park Police officers, park lifeguards and San Francisco Fire Department personnel responded to a report of two people stuck on the rocks near Painted Rock on the Coastal Trail on Thursday, October 30th.

A man was found on the rocks about 150 to 200 feet below the trail; there was a woman below him, but she was not immediately visible.

Park lifeguards swam to a spot below and found the woman’s body on the beach there. Lifeguards and firefighters swam her body out to a waiting fireboat. Meanwhile, firefighters set up a long-haul rope system and brought the man back up to the Coastal Trail.

Park Police detectives took a statement from the man and then transported him to his residence. The woman’s body was taken to the San Francisco Medical Examiners’ Office.

The man and woman had hiked into a closed area that was posted with a sign stating that the area was dangerous and that people had fallen from that location, a fall of approximately 300 feet. The woman fell to her death; the man became stranded while trying to reach her. The case remains under investigation.

Father and son rescued from side of Mt. Saint Helens –  http://mynorthwest.com/11/2637245/Father-son-rescued-by-helicopter-near-Mount-St-Helens

Injured hiker rescued –   http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2014/10/27/12news-crews-rescue-injured-hiker-on-mount-elden/18030867/

Multiple rescues in the Adirondacks – http://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/10/the_latest_dec_forest_ranger_search_and_rescue_missions_in_the_adirondacks.html

Water Safety –

Coast Guard rescues sailor – http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/11/04/3953280_man-rescued-from-bellingham-bay.html?rh=1

Coast Guard suspends search for missing boaters – http://www.wmtw.com/news/coast-guard-2-missing-1-rescued-after-boat-sinks/29482498

Late night rescue of sailors – http://www.nbc-2.com/story/27183730/deputies-respond-to-early-morning-water-rescue#.VFra3vlpf58

Climbing –

Vehicles –

Injured horserider rescued – http://www.wbir.com/story/news/local/2014/10/27/park-volunteer-rescued-from-smoky-mountains/18029789/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=wbir/local-news

Urban –

Missing girl found –http://www.abqjournal.com/489595/news/search-continues-for-girl-10-missing-from-rio-rancho.html

Search continues for autistic child –http://www.news4jax.com/news/search-resumes/29355280


Survival Weekly – 10/27/14…


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 train your most valuable tool – Bigpig

Featured – 

SOS note launches rescue – http://online.wsj.com/articles/sos-note-delivered-on-horseback-from-himalayas-helps-save-hundreds-of-lives-1413762224

News – 

College SAR team saving lives – http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/acb69a245a2f426fb31a2c43a5ea8ea7/FL–Student-Saviors/

Controversial debate on billing –



Hunter/Gatherer – 

Missing hunters found –http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2014/oct/21/search-and-rescue-called-search-overdue-hunters/

Stranded hunters rescued – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11345702

Mushroom hunters rescued – http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/crime/2014/10/22/polk-county-search-and-rescue-locate-man-in-coastal-range/17745975/

More mushroom mania – http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/10/22/3446059/tacoma-mushroom-hunters-rescued.html?sp=/99/1683/

Hiking – 

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.summitdaily.com/news/13468968-113/group-rescue-pitman-hiker

Missing hiker rescued – http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/missing–year-old-hiker-rescued/article_8d66b084-89d1-5ab4-a9e0-533d8afb3ab6.html

Climbing – 

Zion National Park (UT)
Climber Dies In 80-Foot Fall

A 47-year-old climber from California died in an 80-foot fall on the afternoon of Sunday, October 19th.

Christopher Spencer was hiking with a fellow climber to the base of “Iron Messiah,” a technical 5.10 climb in Zion Canyon near the Zion Lodge which the duo planned to climb together. They were on an approach pitch in easy fifth class terrain when Spencer apparently fell backward, tumbling approximately 80 feet down the steep slope and striking a series of ledges. Spencer was not roped in and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Rangers were notified of the accident at approximately 11 a.m. via 911 calls placed by his partner and another witness.  Park medics located and reached Spencer by noon. Due to the steep rocky terrain, rangers needed to belay the litter with three attendants down the scree field.  Park medics and a requested Lifeflight medical crew stabilized Spencer during the almost three hour technical evacuation.

Spencer was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by Lifeflight, where he succumbed to his injuries. This was the eighth climbing fatality in the park since 1983.

Injured climber rescued – http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/2513023-151/smith-rock-climber-injured-in-20-foot-fall?entryType=0

Water Safety – 

Marines rescue Boy Scout troop –           http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20141022/NEWS/310220068/Yuma-Marines-rescue-lost-Boy-Scouts-near-Colorado-River

Two boaters rescued – http://www.airmedandrescue.com/story/two-retrieved-corpus-christi-bay968

Body of missing sailor recovered –   http://www.theolympian.com/2014/10/26/3391225/search-resumes-for-missing-man.html

Coast Guard rescues three – http://www.pressherald.com/2014/10/26/coast-guard-rescues-three-after-sailboat-capsizes-in-portland-harbor/

Vehicles – 

ATV rider found chillin’ at his friends house – http://www.havasunews.com/news/subject-of-search-and-rescue-located-at-his-friend-s/article_a5539604-58e7-11e4-b2bc-fb3650e5d84a.html

Helicopter crash – http://www.airmedandrescue.com/story967

Injured cyclist rescued – http://www.onebakersfield.com/2014/10/kern-valley-search-and-rescue-assist-injured-bicyclist-on-mountain-trail/

Urban – 


Survival Weekly – 10/20/14…


Featured – 

This is textbook “Survival 101” material. Family gets lost and forced to spend night out in frigid conditions – http://www.wbir.com/story/news/local/2014/10/19/rangers-help-lost-family-off-mt-leconte/17551633/

and click here if you want to prepare for the same  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.html

News – 

Three rescue divers receive advanced training in my home county. Congrats Brian!! –   http://www.thedailytimes.com/news/three-blount-rescue-divers-receive-advanced-certification/article_5c67c219-3d2b-5b8c-897b-f4380d3f0973.html

Hiking – 

Teen hiker falls to death – http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58533131-78/amp-canyon-cottonwood-hoyal.html.csp

Ongoing rescue for hikers stranded in avalanche – http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/nepal-avalanche-survivors-could-wait-days-for-rescue-on-isolated-mountains-1.2054428

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Missing hunter found – http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/10/16/3431585/missing-boise-hunter-found-alive.html?sp=/99/101/

Search continues for missing fisherman – http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/search-resumes-for-second-missing-fisherman-2014101606

Teen hunter survives the night with survival kit – http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2014/10/20/lost-teen-wilderness/17604079/

Climbing – 

Zion National Park (UT)
Rangers Conduct Two Simultaneous Rescues

Over a span of ten minutes on the afternoon of October 10th, the park received reports of two visitors requiring evacuation by means of technical rope rescues from two separate locations.

A 35-year-old canyoneer in Pine Creek Canyon had jumped five feet into a pool of water.  He thought that the pool was deep enough to cushion his landing, but landed on a ledge hidden just below the surface.  He broke his fibula and was unable to bear any weight on his injured leg.

Ranger/Medic Matthew Chuvarsky rappelled through the canyoneering route to the man’s location.  The Canyon Overlook Trail follows the rim of Pine Creek Canyon; rangers set up a lowering system to lower a litter and attendant from the trail to the man’s location, then raised him and two attendants 350 feet back to the trail.

The second injury occurred in Hidden Canyon, where a 51-year-old woman jumped a short distance while she was down climbing an obstacle. She also suffered from a broken fibula.

Evacuation of a victim from Hidden Canyon requires the construction of a 400-foot-high line to bypass a section of the trail carved into a cliff face. Ranger/Medic Matthew McCarthy hiked to the woman’s location and explained the challenges of a litter evacuation to her. She decided to attempt to hobble out of the canyon with assistance from crutches and rangers and was able to complete the task.  A litter team met her just past the cliff face and carried her to the trailhead.

Twenty-five SAR team members assisted during the two incidents.  Jumping, as opposed to using a rope or down climbing, is the leading cause of preventable injuries in the Zion Wilderness.

Woman rescued after fall from cliff – http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&ID=50127

Water Safety – 

Vehicles – 

Injured mountain biker rescued – http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x782601564/Mountain-biker-rescued-after-crash-near-Kernville

Injured cyclist rescued – http://www.todmordennews.co.uk/news/local/team-carry-out-mission-to-rescue-cyclist-1-6901998

Urban – 

Woman rescued from chimney – http://twitchy.com/2014/10/19/woman-rescued-from-a-chimney-in-california-sleigh-eight-tiny-reindeer-still-at-large-photos/

Missing dementia sufferer rescued – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/islands/inner-hebrides/374865/missing-man-found-after-night-in-the-wild/

Survival Weekly – 10/14/14…


Featured – 

17 days in rainforest – https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25237041/cairns-woman-missing-in-rainforest-for-17-days-could-hear-rescue-helicopter-police/

News – 

Lifeguard drone – http://www.mby.com/news/537438/introducing-pars-the-search-and-rescue-drone-helicopter

Hiking – 

Lost hiker rescued – http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video/woman-found-safe-after-becoming-lost-on-halifax-hiking-trail-1.2044364

Missing hunter rescued – http://www.willitsnews.com/ci_26699240/willits-hunter-spent-two-days-lost-woods

Injured and missing hikers rescued – http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-fish-and-game-responded-to-two-search-and-rescue-missions-friday/29078842

Missing hikers rescued – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11341595

Stranded hikers rescued – http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/search-and-rescue-crews-help-stranded-hikers-in-li/41960/Hg0r9DFoBUegBGa8GBLe2A

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Hunter spends night out – http://www.ifallsjournal.com/news/outdoors/learn-wilderness-survival-basics-before-going-afield/article_ae0513a8-45a7-5bc8-b137-c71fd03fc71f.html

Injured hunter rescued after two days – http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/injured-hunter-found-huddling-warmth-after-two-day-bush-ordeal-6104797 & http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10614079/Lost-wounded-hunter-lucky-to-be-alive

Lost hunter rescued – http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2014/oct/14/search-and-rescue-helps-hunter-during-overnight-mi/

Watersports – 

Acadia National Park (ME)
Fishing Boat Wrecks On Park Shoreline

While en route to a harbor to get pulled from the waters for the season on October 7th, a local charter fishing boat began taking on water offshore of Acadia National Park.

Fishermen in the area assisted the boat’s captain to safety as the 50-foot wooden boat, the RV Tiger Shark, filled with water and submerged to its gunwales. The wind and currents brought the vessel aground against the rocky shoreline south of Acadia’s Thunder Hole.

Park rangers and members of the local fire department responded. The Coast Guard ascertained that the vessel contained 100 gallons of diesel fuel. With the forecast calling for rain, lightning, and four- to seven-foot seas over the next day, the Coast Guard and the Maine State Department of Environmental Protection worked quickly to remove the fuel and other hazardous materials from the vessel.

Two days after the wreck, the 1,300-pound submerged engine was retrieved. Park rangers are in communication with the owner and insurance company over removal of the wreckage and remaining shoreline debris.

Jason Flynn is the incident commander and Bob Bechtold is the safety officer for the operation.

Fishing crew and Coast Guard team up for rescue – http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Coast-Guard-Local-Fishermen-Save-Sinking-Boat-278895561.html

Incoming tide strands five on rock – http://www.kgw.com/story/news/local/central-coast/2014/10/11/five-people-rescued-at-coast/17124877/

Two rafters drown on Peruvian river – http://www.timesofisrael.com/rescue-teams-find-body-of-second-israeli-missing-in-peru/

Busy weekend for Texas Coast Guard crew –  http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Coast-Guard-rescue-7-in-Texas-during-2-missions-5819327.php

Vehicles – 

Search continues for missing helicopter –  http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10592685/Winds-scupper-search-for-missing-pilot

Injured dirt biker rescued – http://infotel.ca/newsitem/search-and-rescue-called-after-dirt-biker-crash-at-bear-creek-trails/it13710

iPhone app saves crash victim – http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_26724237/san-jose-rescue-under-way-woman-who-drove

Mid air collision kills two – http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2014/10/14/pilot-killed-mid-air-collision-near-yerington-oregon-fireman/17261857/

Urban – 

Missing elderly man found – http://thenelsondaily.com/news/missing-72-year-old-man-found-unharmed-nelson-search-and-rescue-33818#.VD57E_nIL58

Search underway for missing Alzheimer’s patient –  http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/10/11/rescue-efforts-continue-for-missing-75-old-year-woman-in-julian/

Missing toddlers found – http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/2491952-151/police-search-and-rescue-busy-over-weekend?entryType=0#

Climbing – 

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Injured Climber Rescued From Lower Exum Ridge

A Utah climber required a helicopter rescue after falling on the Lower Exum Ridge of the Grand Teton on Sunday, October 5th. Rangers were able to conduct the late-season rescue despite low staffing levels and challenging weather conditions.

Tomasz Misiewicz, 39, of Murray, Utah, was climbing with a partner below the first pitch of the Lower Exum Ridge when he fell approximately 20 feet and sustained a leg injury. Misiewicz’s first piece of rock protection failed during the fall. He had taken a smaller fall without injury moments earlier on the same piece of rock protection, possibly contributing to the failure.

Misiewicz’s partner was able to lower him to a ledge and contact the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center via 911 shortly after the accident. The center received the cell phone call for help at 11:15 am. Fortunately, three seasonal climbing rangers, all of whom had completed their seasons and were making preparations to return to their winter homes, were available to assist from the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache. Permanent climbing rangers were also able to assist.

High winds and rapidly changing cloud conditions were a concern for the rescuing rangers. They were able to conduct a reconnaissance flight with a Teton Interagency contract helicopter and determined that a short-haul evacuation was possible. Two rangers were taken to the Lower Saddle by helicopter and made their way to the scene of the accident.

The helicopter later returned and evacuated Misiewicz and an attending ranger via short-haul to the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache, where he was transferred to a park ambulance and transported to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson. The helicopter later returned to the Lower Saddle and extracted the remaining ranger and Misiewicz’s partner.

Climbers separated before accident –  http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2014/10/12/maroon-bells-climbers-separated/17158939/


Survival Weekly – 10/6/14…


Featured – 

Five days, five rescues – http://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2014/10/06/five-days-five-rescues-in-the-adirondacks/16822713/

Man in inflatable bubble  rescued by Coast Guard –  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-hydro-bubble-rescue-20141004-story.html

Hiking – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Couple found – http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Couple-missing-after-Sierra-backpacking-trip-5794465.php

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missing camper found – http://www.arkansasmatters.com/story/d/story/missing-girl-found-alive-at-buffalo-national-river/40259/-IXnnRH7M0O_N4l-oWKX6A

Lost hiker found – http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/32232615-75/search-and-rescue-volunteers-locate-lost-hiker-in-3-sisters-wilderness.html.csp

Lost hikers rescued – http://www.pressrepublican.com/news/local_news/article_adeef51a-727c-5b97-8eca-c9c0c3a37aba.html

Injured hiker rescued –  http://www.kelownanow.com/news/news/Local_News/14/10/04/Search_and_Rescue_Helps_Injured_Kelowna_Hiker

Missing hikers rescued – http://www.kbzk.com/news/search-and-rescue-kept-busy-sunday-with-rollover-crash-and-missing-hikers/

Search expands for missing Alzheimer’s camper –  http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/california/Search-Expands-for-Woman-Missing-From-Julian-Campground-278282771.html

Climbing – No stories this week

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Missing hunter found – http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_5576099e-4a57-11e4-a4fb-0017a43b2370.html

Fishermen rescued – http://www.islandpacket.com/2014/10/05/3354614/3-men-rescued-after-motor-dies.html

Water safety – 

Crews search for missing diver – http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Search-Resumes-for-Missing-Diver-Off-Catalina-277758581.html

Teams search for boy swept into ocean – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10566811/Child-swept-to-sea-at-Mount-Maunganui

Good samaritans rescue boating party – http://www.katc.com/news/coast-guard-good-samaritans-rescue-5-from-overturned-boat-near-aransas-pass/

Vehicles – 

Marine killed in Osprey crash – http://timesofsandiego.com/military/2014/10/01/search-rescue-underway-missing-san-diego-airman-arabian-gulf/

Helicopter crash – http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26665376/mesa-county-sheriffs-office-responds-helicopter-crash-near

Urban – 

SAR teams mobilize for missing girl report – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/abbotsford-search-girl-carried-into-bushes-says-witness-1.2783433

USAR responds to stuck window washers –  http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Window-Washer-Rescue-Irvine-Office-Building-277770952.html

Missing women found – http://www.kusi.com/story/26701851/search-and-rescue-activated-for-missing-woman

The other side of the story…


“Your rock and ice article with the interfering wfr was interesting. That guy should have gotten out of the way.” – Jake

Jake is a professional rescuer and law enforcement officer, so his initial response is not surprising. What I am interested in hearing is his opinion after he reads the ensuing link and my story.

I am coming up on my own 21st anniversary of a rock climbing accident that almost killed me. Back in October of nineteen hundred and ninety three, the day before my eighteenth birthday, I was belaying a friend on a sport climbing route called Gutbuster at Foster Falls.

While looking up, dust got in my eyes, so I looked down and that is when the dislodged rock smashed the right side of my skull causing a depressed skull fracture, unconsciousness, and seizures. The ensuing events were related to me later by my climbing partner and friend, as I only woke up briefly twice during the rescue. He is a reader of this blog and will hopefully fill in some details.

Will, a cross-country star, ran several miles to get help. The older state park ranger that responded went down on the trail with chest pains and was rescued himself prior to my rescue. When the rescue team arrived, they started rigging up gear to rappel and perform a vertical rescue.

My buddy, argued for them to use the trail that we had all walked down to reach the bottom of the cliffs and they conceded. I was packaged in a litter, carried out, and transported via helicopter to Erlanger hospital. My recovery, complete with paresis of my left side, cranioplasty, and all the other goodies that go with trauma, took the better part of a year and I still suffer a loss of dexterity in my left hand.

I am thankful for having lived through this event and to the rescuers that day.


Having been a climber, an accident victim, a rescuer, and a law enforcement ranger, when I read the Rock and Ice article, I couldn’t help thinking that there must have been more to it. Media is media so I did a little searching and found the climber’s response.  http://www.onthesharpend.com/2014/09/09/defense-friend-response-climber-fined-obstructing-rescue-rock-ice/

No doubt Jake can confirm that responders on all levels love to break out gadgets and everything else when the call comes in. Having been involved in professional and volunteer responses over the years, I have seen simple solutions bypassed in favor of using fancier gear, training, and tactics.

He can also attest to the “certified but not qualified” world that we have both lived in. Fighting instructors that couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag, shooting instructors that couldn’t field strip their weapon, the list goes on. The opposite is also true when you have stud climbers like Manimal performing vertical rescues on a regular basis on the big walls of Yosemite or other responders that are also recreationists. You never know what you are going to get in a mixed bag.

There are always two sides to a story, but we all need to remember we are on the same side and learn how to work together and communicate better. The positive side to this incident is that is already happening thanks to Dr. Seth Hawkins, the medical director for Burke County EMS and Rescue squad. A climber himself, he organized a meeting between all interested parties a few weeks after.

“In both those roles (rescuer and climber) I convened a meeting a few weeks later to include representatives of AAC, AMGA, Access Fund, Fox Mountain Guides, NC Outward Bound School, Burke EMS, Burke Rescue, and other assorted rescue agencies local to Linville Gorge. At that meeting we did a further debriefing, came to a fair consensus on the events, and came up with a plan to use this as a positive and forward-thinking impetus to improve climber and rescuer relationships. To date, the only formal document that was generated out of all these debriefs and the incident itself was the patient care report, which is confidential. But we all reached strong consensus on the actual events during the call, and I could certainly put you in touch with any of those stakeholders if you want perspectives in addition to my own.”

Video of rescue: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/state-regional/climber-caught-rescue-issued-citation/nd9rc/