Tag Archives: drowning

Survival Weekly – 8/7/15… 2 year blog anniversary!!


image: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Berry-picker-87-goes-missing-near-Trout-Lake-320357241.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 – 

And now for a 2 year  BigPigBlog anniversary rant..

Surviving a wilderness emergency has been romanticized in our culture to the point there are TV shows and experts recommending primitive and bushcraft skills to people during a wilderness emergency. If you are involved in search and rescue or a reader of Survival Weekly, you will surely see the folly in the following quote:

“McKinley told the class that learning about primitive skills allows a person to not spend their money on gear to survive in the wild, but to take the opportunity to build and create the means of survival by utilizing the natural surroundings”

I am going to give McKinley the benefit of the doubt that the journalist spun the story to be trendy, as readinding the rest of the article, I believe his real intentions are to get people outside and connecting with nature. However, I can’t let that quote slide by without addressing it’s gross negligance.

By definition, a “survival situation” would be life-threatening incident. I would also throw out that they are “unplanned”, as most people try to avoid death.

Native people and mountain men carried cutting edge equipment of their time. It just so happened, that friction fire and flint and steel, was their best technology.

Try carving a friction fire set and starting a fire with a “simulated” broken wrist. Try it while shivering uncontrollaby, or better yet, when your kids are shivering and it’s raining.

Try building a debris hut when everything is soaked, you have thirty minutes until dark, and your family is with you.

Try coal burning a container and rock boiling water when you are dehydrated.

Then try all the same with a lighter, a contractor bag, and water purification pills for your canteen you brought, which all together cost you, maybe $10.

In fifteen years of search & rescue and two years of reporting Survival Weekly, I have yet to see an incident where someone miraculously finds themselves in a survival situation, naked, without some sort of equipment.

I love primitive skills, bushcraft, foraging, hunting and trapping, but I keep it all in context and realize that in most modern scenarios, those skills should not be prioritized over good decision making in regards to planning and gear.

The real lesson from learning primitive skills is when you realize how much time and effort they require and that you wouldn’t want to bet your life or your family’s on them.



Also featured:

Tracking helps find lost biker – “Around 10 p.m. rescuers saw foot prints and a bike tire imprint leading up one of the small creek beds.” –    http://www.4029tv.com/news/search-and-rescue-teams-in-carroll-county-locate-biker-lost-on-trails/34527182

News – 

New ELT’s coming – http://www.cbs19.tv/story/29685191/researchers-testing-newly-designed-homing-beacons-to-aid-in-search-and-rescue

Water Safety – 

Drowning victim recovered – http://journaltimes.com/news/local/search-continues-for-wind-lake-drowning-victim/article_bca277e0-88cf-567d-8e6c-8f6330417e3f.html

Jet skier rescued from cell phone “ping” – http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/cell-phone-ping-leads-rescue-crews-to-missing-jet-skier/article_1c6b765e-392e-11e5-8a3b-ebd326fb8bcc.html

SAR suspended for missing Florida teens – http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150801/search-suspended-for-missing-florida-teens

Water rescue – http://www.kval.com/news/local/Search-and-Rescue-She-thinks-that-lifejacket-probably-saved-her-life-320569592.html


image: http://www.kval.com/news/local/Search-and-Rescue-She-thinks-that-lifejacket-probably-saved-her-life-320569592.html

Hiking – 

Death Valley National Park (CA)
Mother And Child Rescued From Trail In Extreme Heat Conditions

On the afternoon of Monday, August 3rd, rangers received a report that a mother and son were experiencing severe heat exhaustion on the Golden Canyon Trail, a popular hiking route in Death Valley.

The father, now at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, left his family on the trail and sought help when his wife and son were too exhausted to continue. Rangers responded to the visitor center and learned that the eight-year-old child and 49-year-old mother had just a half liter of water between them when the father left them an hour previously. The father also said that his wife and son had been vomiting and had been on the trail since 9 a.m. The air temperature at the time was 120 F.

Rangers immediately responded and began hiking the trail, carrying copious amounts of water and medical supplies. After roughly thirty minutes of searching, the rangers located the mother and son, who were lying face down in the shade of a cliff face. Both were responsive but were completely out of water.

Rangers administered care to both mother and son, who were stable and denied throwing up. Once they had been cooled, the rangers assisted them in walking out of the canyon. When they arrived at the ambulance, staged at the entrance to the canyon, the mother declined any further medical care for her and her son.

Badlands National Park (SD)
Search For Missing Man Suspended

On Friday, July 31st, rangers suspended the search for 39-year-old Joshua Jacobsen of Lincoln, Nebraska, due to lack of physical evidence.

Jacobsen was reported missing by his family on July 16th. During the week of July 27th, rangers, along with members of the Pennington County search and rescue team, conducted focused operations within the 64,000-acre Sage Creek Wilderness using a cadaver dog team from Estes Park, Colorado.  The South Dakota National Guard also conducted grid searches with a Lakota to follow-up on bones observed during a prior flight.  The bones were later determined to be from a buffalo.

Close to 50 searchers have participated in operations since July 17th and more than 20 flight hours were logged by the South Dakota National Guard.  Rangers are continuing to investigate the case with the FBI and Pennington County Sheriff’s Department.

Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
Hiker Suffers Fatal Heart Attack

A 73-year-old Louisiana woman suffered a fatal heart attack while hiking with family on the 49 Palms Oasis trail on Monday, July 27th.

Park staff, Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Twentynine Palms Fire Department responded and administered CPR, but the woman did not respond.

Two other members of the hiking party were transported by Morongo Basin Ambulance and treated for heat-related issues at Hi Desert Medical Center.

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –


Image: http://www.sequimgazette.com/news/320796791.html

Hunter-gatherer – 

Berry picker rescued – http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Berry-picker-87-goes-missing-near-Trout-Lake-320357241.html

Climbing – 

Fatal climbing accident – http://www.crestoneeagle.com/hiker-killed-in-fall-on-crestone-peak-search-rescue-teams-respond-to-numerous-incidents/

Fall kills teen – http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-search-and-rescue-team-with-pueblo-unit-to-recover-hikers-body/article/1556717

Vehicles – 

 Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Bodies Of Two People Found In Stuck Minivan

The bodies of a man and woman from Golden Valley, Arizona, were found near Greggs Hideout in Lake Mead National Recreation Area on Sunday, August 2nd.

Park dispatch received a call just before 5 p.m. reporting that bodies of the two people were found in a minivan by a third party who was passing through.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office deputies and National Park Service rangers responded and located the pair in a minivan that was stuck in the dirt on Salt Spring Wash Road. They appeared to have died from environmental exposure. Only two bottles of water were found at the scene and there was no cell phone coverage in the area.

The Mohave County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and confirm the victims’ identities. The incident is under investigation.

Glider crash with rescue – http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/glider-crashes-into-mountain-near-hyde-park-canyon/article_3996c6e9-c166-5eed-8164-e4d5258dcb73.html

Injured dirtbiker rescued – http://airmedandrescue.com/story/tect-rescue-airlifts-injured-biker1170

Pilot rescued after helicopter crash – http://flatheadbeacon.com/2015/08/05/helicopter-crashes-in-beaver-lake-near-whitefish/

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

N.M.Philips SAR Trust performs first spinal injury transfer

image: http://airmedandrescue.com/story/philips-sar-trust-performs-first-spinal-injury-transfer1174

Survival Weekly – 6/30/15…


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 –


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 – 4/7/15…


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

Featured – 

Two months lost at sea – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rescued-north-carolina-boater-louis-jordan-explains-how-he-survived-for-66-days/

Doubters – http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/05/why-skeptics-think-a-south-carolina-sailor-lied-about-being-lost-at-sea-for-66-days/

News – 

Article on “arm chair quarterbacking” SAR stories – http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-sports/article/Outdoors-Stranded-hikers-shouldn-t-shoulder-6174753.php#photo-7755040

Drone stuff – http://www.startupsmart.com.au/growth/start-up-profiles/aussie-drone-startup-assists-new-zealand-search-and-rescue-operation/2015040214462.html

Water Safety – 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Teen Dies In Jump From Cliff Into Lake Mohave

A body has been recovered in Placer Cove on Lake Mohave where a teen disappeared on April 1st after jumping from a cliff.

Rangers began searching the area around 12:30 p.m.  after witnesses said a teen jumped from a cliff to help a swimmer below. The swimmer made it to safety, but witnesses said the teen was seen going underwater.

Rangers located the body underwater using sonar and called in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search and Rescue Dive Team for support. The dive team recovered the body.

The Clark County Medical Examiner will confirm the victim’s identity and determine the cause of death. The incident is under investigation.

Recovery from lake – http://www.twcnews.com/nc/triad/news/2015/04/2/rescue-crews-find-body-of-missing-greensboro-man.html

Recovery from coastal cliffs – http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/berwick-cliff-death-16-year-old-boy-8983863

Coast guard rescues two – http://www.click2houston.com/news/two-men-rescued-by-coast-guard-on-island-in-san-antonio-bay/32206052

Coast Guard rescues four – http://www.app.com/story/news/crime/jersey-mayhem/2015/04/06/coast-guard-rescues-shrewsbury-river/25349663/

SAR for missing six year old – http://www.kdlt.com/news/local-news/yankton-missing-child-update/32211268

Winter Sports – 

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Hiking – 

Two Rescued from Smokies Backcountry

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers and members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol Special Operations and Aviation Section rescued two individuals from the park’s backcountry near the Spence Field Shelter on Saturday.  At 6:10 a.m. park dispatch received a call from an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker advising of a pair of hikers in distress near Spence Field Shelter.

The hikers, a father and son, got separated from a third member of their party while trying to make their way from Derrick Knob Shelter to Spence Field Shelter on Friday night, a distance of 6.3 miles. After leaving Derrick Knob the weather deteriorated and the hikers were left traversing over rocky terrain in the dark, driving rain and thunderstorms. Only one member of the party made it to Spence Field Shelter as planned.

In the morning thru-hikers, headed Northbound from Spence Field, were on the lookout for the two hikers that had not made it the night before, and quickly came upon the first individual, who had a knee injury and could not walk unassisted. Not long after the call came in to dispatch of the initial party, other hikers found the father farther north near Thunderhead Mountain.

Two rangers responded on horseback from Cades Cove with a wrangler from the Cades Cove Riding Stables. The hiker with the knee injury was taken out on horseback, while rangers continued on foot to assess the condition of the father who was several miles down the AT. After an assessment by park rangers, it was determined that air extrication would be the best option for rescue.

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Missing crabber http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/Search-underway-for-man-who-went-missing-in-Neuse-River-298663151.html

Russian trawler crew rescued – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32168406

Climbing – 

Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
Teenager Wedged Into Rocks Rescued Via Interagency Effort

On Thursday, April 2nd, a 17-year-old hiker became wedged between rocks while scrambling in the Johnson Canyon area of the park. The incident was reported to 911 late in the afternoon.

Several agencies responded, including Morongo Basin Ambulance, Twentynine Palms Fire Department, Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center Fire and Rescue, and National Park Service search and rescue rangers and volunteers.

During the six-hour rescue, a mechanical advantage system was applied to no avail, requiring the MCAGCC team to utilize a pneumatic chisel. The hiker was successfully freed and walked out on his own, with only minor scrapes and bruises.

“It’s great to have the relationships the park has with other local agencies,” said Mike Shuman, park ranger and IC. “Their equipment and expertise was key in the rescue and the favorable outcome.”

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Climber Suffers Multiple Injuries In Fall

The park received a 911 call reporting a falling accident above The Loch late on the morning of Tuesday, March 31st.

It was later determined that 28-year-old Janet Heung of Boulder, Colorado, took an 80 to 100 foot roped fall near or on a climbing route called Deep Freeze. She was with a climbing partner at the time.

Heung was located in steep scree roughly 500 feet above The Loch on Thatchtop Mountain. The Loch is three miles from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Rangers reached her at 2:30 p.m.; they found that she’d sustained numerous injuries but was conscious.

Rangers lowered Heung down a steep scree slope to The Loch, where an air ambulance was able to land on the frozen lake. At a little after 7 p.m., Flight for Life transported her to St. Anthony’s Hospital.

Fortunately, weather conditions and the location were conducive for assistance from a helicopter.  Otherwise, it would have been an even lengthier rescue operation. A total of eighteen rescue personnel had reached the Glacier Gorge Trailhead by approximately 8 p.m., including the park SAR team, Larimer County Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue.

Lava Beds National Monument (CA)
Child Rushed To Hospital After Fall In Park Cave

A five-year-old Klamath Falls boy fell approximately 20 feet while exploring a lava tube cave with his family on Friday, March 27th.

Park rangers were the first on the scene. Emergency crews were contacted and the child was flown via helicopter to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls and transferred to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, where he is now recovering.

Park staff are investigating the circumstances of the incident.  Of the approximately 135,000 visitors that visit Lava Beds each year, about 25,000 visit Skull Cave.  It is a popular cave due to its large entrance and ice floor.  There are no records of a similar incident occurring in Skull Cave.

Injured canyoneer rescued – http://fox13now.com/2015/04/03/search-and-rescue-extracts-man-from-bottom-of-canyon-at-zion-national-park/

Vehicles – 

High angle rescue MVA – http://www.azfamily.com/story/28700795/3-rescued-after-car-goes-over-cliff-near-strawberry

Rescue of mountain biker – http://www.pe.com/articles/officials-764036-linda-loma.htm

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


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 – 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 – 10/14/14…


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 – 8/4/14…


Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)
Visitor Seriously Injured When Thrown By Mule

On Saturday, July 26th, rangers received an emergency call reporting that a trail rider had been thrown by a mule during a guided trip on the Peekaboo loop trail and been seriously injured.

Rangers assembled a rescue team that included personnel from Garfield County EMS and Tropic Fire and Rescue. A medical team determined that an air evacuation would be needed, as the nearest trauma center is four hours away and the accident had occurred two-and-a-half miles from the nearest trailhead.

A Classic Lifeguard helicopter from Page, Arizona, flew to the park and picked up the injured visitor at a landing zone established by rescuers. The injured visitor was taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah, for treatment for a pelvis fracture and shattered collarbone.


Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)

Lightning Strike Injures Park Visitor

The park received a report last Monday of a visitor down and unconscious and in need of medical assistance on the Rim Trail. A storm had recently passed through the area, bringing heavy rain and lightning.

Rangers began a hasty search along the trail and found the visitor suffering seizures off to the side of the trail between Sunset and Inspiration Points. Initial signs and symptoms indicated that the visitor had likely been the victim of lightning side splash, as a tree several feet away had recently been struck by lightning.

An ambulance from Garfield County EMS was soon on scene. The patient was transferred to the burn unit at University of Utah Medical Center for further care.

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Missing Hiker Found By Searchers

On the morning of Monday, July 28th, the park received a call advising that a 56-year-old Illinois man was overdue from a climb of Longs Peak.

He’d planned on summiting the peak on the east side on Sunday. Around 4:30 p.m., he called his family and told them that he’d be late getting back to the trailhead. When he failed to show up or call again, they contacted the park.

Members of the park’s search and rescue team began looking for him on Monday morning, retracing what they assumed was his intended route. Just before noon, the man called his family; he said that he was okay, but that he’d had to spend the night on the peak due to severe weather and nightfall. He then resumed his descent in heavy fog in the morning and became lost. He also reported that he might be on Mount Meeker.

A helicopter was brought in to assist in the search and spotted the man below Peacock Pool in the Roaring Fork drainage late in the afternoon. Rangers were nearby and reached him 15 minutes later. He declined medical evaluation and evacuation by helicopter, saying that he wanted to hike out on his own. Ranger led him back to the trail and gave him directions to the trailhead.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Missing 13-Year-Old Hiker Found By Searchers

On the evening of July 28th, the parks’ trail crew found a missing 13-year-old boy who had been separated from his hiking party while in the Arrow Peak (elevation 12,959 feet) area of Kings Canyon National Park on Sunday, July 27th.

The boy stayed overnight at the trail crew camp until he was airlifted out of the Bench Lake area of the park yesterday morning. Prior to the flight, a park medic evaluated him and found him to be uninjured and in good condition.

Dispatch received a call about the missing hiker from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office around 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon. The hiking party had departed from Taboose Pass in the Inyo National Forest and was headed for Bench Lake and Arrow Peak in Kings Canyon National Park.

A search began later that day. Among those participating in the operation were 25 National Park Service staff from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks who searched by ground and helicopter, conducted interviews, and planned for the next day’s operation. 

Incident operations concluded yesterday with 28 NPS employees involved, primarily in getting the boy to the helicopter landing zone and returning searchers to their normal work locations.


Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River (NY,PA)
Man Survives Near Drowning In Delaware River

On the afternoon Saturday, July 26th, rangers responded to a non-fatal drowning, often referred to as a near drowning, that occurred at Staircase Rapids.

The victim was a young man who’d entered the water to swim from one raft to another. He was not wearing a life jacket and according to his companions was intoxicated. 

A man in the raft that the victim was swimming toward saw him struggling in the water. He did not know the victim (they had only met that day), but asked others in the raft who did know him if they thought he was alright or needed help. They said that he was okay and that he knew how to swim.

The man in the raft saw the victim’s head bob under the water, though, and believed, correctly, that he was in the process of drowning. He entered the water, wearing his life jacket, swam to the victim and brought him to the Pennsylvania shoreline. The victim was conscious but displaying an altered mental state; it is unclear if this was due to the drowning or intoxication or a combination of both.

The rescuer then swam back across the river to the New York shoreline and ran to Kittatinny Canoes’ Staircase Rapids base and had them call 911. 

Park protection rangers responded via patrol boat along with local police constables and fire and EMS personnel. Lumberland Volunteer Fire Department’s boat was first on scene and took the victim to the ambulance that was waiting at Kittatinny Canoe’s base. The victim was transported to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis, where he was treated and released.

The incident is under investigation.

Lake Mead NRA – NV, AZ

Rangers Rescue Kayaker From Lake Mohave

Around 5 p.m. on July 24th, park dispatch received a call reporting that a man was struggling in the water near Nelson’s Landing on Lake Mohave. Rangers responded by boat and found the man floating motionless, holding onto a kayak.

The man said he was trying to swim across to the Arizona shoreline when the wake of a personal watercraft threw him from his kayak. He claimed he became separated from his life jacket, but no life jacket was found. He also claimed he was floating for around 30 minutes and that no bystanders offered to help.

Witnesses said he was floating in the water for between one and one-and-a-half hours and that an individual tried to rescue him, but that he refused assistance. They also said they did not see him wearing a life jacket.

Winds were 10 to 15 mph, creating six- to twelve-inch waves. Attempting to cross the lake while holding on to a kayak with no life jacket available was extremely hazardous to both the man and to boaters operating in the area. The man ended up more than a quarter mile north of his starting location and approximately 300 yards from shore.

Over the course of the preceding three days, three swimmers drowned in the park. None of them was wearing a life jacket.

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Seriously Injured Man Rescued From Backcountry

On the afternoon of July 25th, the park received a cell phone call from a 31-year-old man who reported that he’d fallen an unknown distance while glissading down Gabletop Mountain and had sustained numerous injuries.

The Forest Service helicopter employed earlier in the day for a body recovery from Longs Peak was utilized for aerial reconnaissance. Using cell phone GPS coordinates, rangers were able to determine his general location below Gabletop Mountain; the helicopter’s crew provided his exact location. 

A rescue operation was begun. Four rangers and rescue equipment were flown to Loomis Lake between severe thunderstorms. They then hiked to his location, a steep cirque above the lake at an altitude of around 11,300 feet, arriving just after midnight. The injured man greatly aided in his rescue by moving down a steep band of rock, then down a steep snow field toward the rangers.  

The rangers found that the man was ambulatory, but that he was suffering from life-threatening  injuries. They lowered him 500 feet with ropes and then assisted him an additional 700 feet down steep mountainous terrain to Loomis Lake.  A paramedic on the park’s rescue team provided advanced life support throughout the incident.

The man was flown to Beaver Meadows Road, then taken by a Flight for Life helicopter to St. Anthony’s Hospital for further treatment.  

Park rescue team members feel this was truly a life-saving mission. The man was fortunate to have cell phone coverage in this remote location, which has very limited coverage.

Glacier National Park
Hiker Shoots Bear On Park Trail

A 57-year-old Texas man was hiking alone on the Mt. Brown Lookout trail last Saturday morning when a bear charged him from below the trail. The man used his bear spray on him, then shot the bear with one round from a handgun he was carrying. Indications are that he hit the bear, which then ran away.

The hiker then headed back to the trailhead, encountering a volunteer backcountry ranger on the trail along the way. The volunteer notified park dispatch of the incident.

Rangers immediately closed the trial and began an investigation. They also staffed the trailhead in order to advise other visitors what had happened. Rangers and bear specialists began a search for the bear, which may be either a grizzly or a black bear.

The bear has not yet been found and the investigation is continuing. The trail remains closed.

Park visitors are encouraged to carry bear spray as a deterrent for a charging grizzly bear. No single deterrent is 100 percent effective, but compared to all others, including firearms, proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for fending off threatening and attacking bears and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved.

SAR for mising hikers – http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/trampers-missing-tararua-ranges/5/198151

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_9e772828-167f-11e4-ad06-0019bb2963f4.html

Injured ATV rider rescued – http://www.nbcmontana.com/sports/atv-rider-rescued-in-gallatin-canyon-area/27181330

Injured climber rescued – http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2014/07/28/otley-chevin-climber-airlifted-after-falling-40ft-while-abseiling

Ultra-runner’s dies from fall –   http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20140728/NEWS01/140729588/Oregon-man-dies-near-Ice-Lakes-

Missing wildland firefighter found – http://www.kaj18.com/news/search-continuing-for-missing-wildland-firefighter-in-montana/

Pilot survives crash –  http://www.vancouversun.com/Search+rescue+crews+look+plane+crash+reported+west+Vernon+updated/10070687/story.html

Birdwatcher forced to spend night out – http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58235942-78/canyon-search-lake-salt.html.csp

Multiple SAR’s in Tonto Rim – http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58235942-78/canyon-search-lake-salt.html.csp

Dehydrated hikers rescued – http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/chp-rescues-hikers-in-rural-napa-county/article_54c1dcb2-2cf0-57b4-9534-a837c7a5ccc5.html

Miscommunication prompts SAR-  http://www.kelownanow.com/news/news/Local_News/14/07/30/COSAR_Search_Big_White_for_Missing_Man

Missing swimmer not located – http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/rcmp-and-search-and-rescue-members-scour-revelstoke-lake-for-missing-swimmer-1.1940831

ATV rider injured and rescued –   http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_82a76a16-19dd-11e4-b44c-0017a43b2370.html

Injured climber rescued – http://fox13now.com/2014/08/02/search-and-rescue-crews-respond-to-man-who-fell-in-bell-canyon/

Injured climber rescued – http://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/120340/Climber-rescued-from-canyon

Injured hiker spotted by Life Flight crew – http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=30988748

Campers rescued from flash flood – http://kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_12968.shtml

Injured camper rescued after fall – http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Wolfe-County-rescue-crews-save-injured-person-at-Red-River-Gorge-269730841.html


Survival Weekly – 7/15/14…


Dehydration, drowning, lightning storms and several other summer time wilderness hazards are showcased this week. In honor of Whistlemania, I highlighted one SAR initiated by a whistle.

Video from paraglider rescue – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXPXbL6hYt8#t=467

Death Valley National Park (CA)
Body Of British Actor Found Near Zabriskie Point

The body of British actor Dave Legeno, best known for his role as werewolf Fenrir Greyback in three of the ‘Harry Potter’ films, was discovered by hikers in the badlands near Zabriskie Point on July 6th.

Temperatures at the time of his death were as much as 118° to 123°F. This is the second heat-related death in the park this summer. Hiking is not recommended in the low elevations of Death Valley in the summer. 

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Lightning Kills Two, Injures Ten In Separate Incidents

Lightning strikes killed two park visitors and injured ten others on park trails in separate incidents this past Friday and Saturday.

Around 1:20 p.m. on Friday, July 11th, the park was notified that a lightning strike had hit a number of visitors on the Ute Crossing Trail, located off of Trail Ridge Road between Rainbow Curve and Forest Canyon Overlook.

Eight visitors suffered a variety of injuries from the strike, with a 42-year-old Ohio woman succumbing to her injuries. Of the remaining seven, two were transported by ambulance and five transported themselves to the Estes Park Medical Center.   

Just before 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 12th, rangers were apprised of a lightning strike that injured four people, also near Rainbow Curve. All were taken to Estes Park Medical Center via ambulance. One of the four, a 52-year-old Nebraska man, did not survive.

The last lightning fatality that occurred in Rocky Mountain National Park was in 2000, when a technical climber was struck on the Diamond on Longs Peak. 

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Missing Hiker Found In Kings Canyon

On July 3rd, a 33–year-old Clovis, California, man hiked from Florence Lake into the northern part of Kings Canyon National Park with the intent to climb Mt. Goddard. He was expected to return to his vehicle on July 7th, but by July 9th had not returned home.  Joint search operations were begun on July 9th with Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. 

On July 10th, search operations intensified, with six NPS hasty teams, the parks’ contract Type 3 helicopter, Yosemite NP’s Type 2 helicopter, and an NPS liaison assigned to Fresno County.   

Searchers reached the summit of Mount Goddard (elevation 13,558) and the peak register was found to have an entry left by the missing man on July 5th. On the evening of July 10th, the final team insertion took place around sunset near Davis Lake (elevation of 11,058), about two miles north of Mt. Goddard. 

As the helicopter was on final approach to the landing zone, the man was seen lying on the ground approximately fifty yards away.  The search team contacted him and found he had significant trauma to his lower extremities.  He said that he had been injured five days earlier while descending Mt. Goddard, had run out of food, and ultimately crawled toward Davis Lake. 

As sunset approached, potentially grounding the helicopter, the man was rapidly bandaged and carried to the helicopter by hand.  He was flown back to the park helibase, where he was transferred to a Life Flight helicopter for transport to a local hospital.


Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park (CO)
Two Rescues Conducted In Canyon

Rangers and Black Canyon Volunteer Search and Rescue Team members responded to two separate incidents over the Fourth of July weekend.

On Thursday, July 3rd, a 35-year-old Minnesota man who was backpacking with a friend on the South Rim’s Warner Route stepped off a 16-inch rock and broke his lower leg. The pair attempted to splint the lower leg with a trekking pole and a fishing rod, but the steep, loose terrain of Black Canyon made self-rescue impossible.

Rangers and a paramedic spent the night in the canyon with the pair and the SAR team and park personnel conducted a scree evacuation the following morning. The man was transported by ambulance to Montrose Memorial Hospital later that morning.

On Saturday, July 5th, a visitor at South Rim’s Chasm View overlook reported hearing a whistle and cries for help. Rangers on the South Rim were able to spot an individual toward the bottom of the North Rim’s S.O.B. Gully.

A climbing ranger hiked down to the 28-year-old hiker, who had fallen approximately 10 feet and suffered a compound leg fracture. Rangers and a paramedic spent the night with him to provide care, while a scree evacuation was staged for first light the following morning.

Black Canyon Volunteer Search and Rescue, park personnel, Western State Colorado University Search and Rescue, and West Elk Search and Rescue used 11 main and belay line stations of approximately 130 vertical feet each to raise the man a total of 1400 vertical feet. He was then transported via Tri State Care Flight to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.

All the inner canyon routes in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are infamous for loose rock, steep drop-offs and abundant poison ivy.

Buffalo National Scenic River (AR)
Visitor Saves Two Others From Drowning

On the afternoon of July 2nd, a father and daughter were saved from drowning by the heroic act of a visitor.

A man and his 10-year-old daughter were swimming in Buffalo River upstream from the Ponca low-water bridge when they were swept into deep water by the swift current. Neither of them were strong swimmers and both quickly became distressed. Michael Hogrefe of London Arkansas, who later revealed he is a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructor and former lifeguard, went to their aid.

Hogrefe swam to the child and was pulling her back to shallow water when the father grabbed him. Hogrefe had almost reached shallow water with both victims when the swift current pulled all three back downriver and against the bridge abutment.

The current was pulling all three towards the bridge opening even though Hogrefe was frantically trying to prevent this while grabbing and scraping his fingernails and fingertips along the concrete abutment. He could no longer hold onto the father and daughter and let both go. He immediately got out of the water and went to the downstream side of the bridge, where the child’s mother was holding a branch out to her husband.

The husband latched into the branch while holding his daughter by her heel. Hogrefe pulled the child out of the water. He found that she was unconscious, blue and not breathing, so immediately began CPR and was on his fourth cycle when he could feel her heart beat. She began blinking her eyes, coughed up water and started asking for her mother. Witness’s estimated the time the child was underwater to be about six minutes.

While this rescue was in progress, Hogrefe’s girlfriend drove to Ponca, which is a very short distance from the bridge, where Buffalo River Outfitters contacted Midwest Region Ozark Communication Center with information regarding a possible drowning.

District Ranger Mark Miller, BUFFSAR member Glenn Wheeler, and North Arkansas Regional Medical Center paramedics responded. The father and daughter were assessed on scene by NARMC ambulance personnel. The family refused ambulance transport but did self-transport to the hospital for treatment.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park (ND)
Four Backcountry Rescues Conducted On Independence Day

Early on the afternoon of July 4th, the park received a cell phone call with a weak signal. Through the series of calls and texts that ensued, it was determined that the caller was a 21-year-old North Dakota man, that there were two other people in his party (a 23-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man), that they were lost in the Achenbach Hills Wilderness Area, and that they were dehydrated and had only 20 milliliters of water left, The temperature at the time was 90 degrees, the humidity was 88%, and there was no wind.

Even with GPS coordinates and brightly spread out camping items, attempts to locate the party in the wilderness area were unsuccessful.  A hasty team was sent towards the GPS coordinates and a medical helicopter was dispatched from Dickinson, North Dakota. The hasty team located the trio approximately 50 feet from the Achenbach Trail, hiked to them, assessed them, and prepared a landing zone. 

A determination was made by the flight crew and the NPS EMT that two of them would be taken to the McKenzie County ambulance that was staged two miles away and that they would then pick up the third person and fly him to the hospital in Dickinson.  

As preparations were being made for the first flight, a second incident occurred when one of the hasty team members fainted due to heat exhaustion and dehydration. The team then determined to fly all the members of the party and the hasty team EMT to the staged ambulance and return to transport the ill NPS employee to the hospital. 

During these operations a third incident occurred when crew members at the staging area were alerted by a party of four picnickers walking the Achenbach trail about 100 feet below. Members of the party reported that a man in their group was dehydrated and could not make it up the trail. The man weighed approximately 290 pounds and was at the bottom of an 85% slope.  

A team of approximately 16 people was gathered from the nearby ambulance crew, visitors, and NPS employees and volunteers.  Using a wheeled litter and a rope, the team successfully delivered the man to the already staged ambulance. 

The SAR team was wrapping up operations and was about halfway into their after action review when a fourth incident occurred.  North Dakota State Radio 911 dispatch advised they were receiving a series of calls from a cell phone with a weak signal. 

Through a series of calls and texts, it was determined this caller was a 20-year-old woman from Minot, North Dakota, and that she was hiking with a 20-year-old man, also from Minot. Both were lost in the Achenbach Hills Wilderness Area and dehydrated.

The air ambulance was again dispatched from Dickinson and the McKenzie County ambulance returned to the staging area.  The woman was instructed to light one of her two signal flares. Spotters at two locations observed the smoke from the flares and directed the air ambulance to the location, which was approximately 200 yards from the Achenbach Trail.

Due to the extreme heat and safety-related concerns, the incident commander, chief ranger and superintendent made the determination to close the Achenbach Trail, which remained closed until Sunday, July 6th, when weather conditions improved. 

A total of 25 people participated in the SAR; operations were completed around 10 p.m. Ranger Ron Sams served as incident commander for three of the incidents and he was assisted by incident commander trainee Jared Thompson for the fourth and final incident. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (MI)
Five Kayakers Rescued From Lake Michigan

On the afternoon of June 29th, five teenagers were rescued from the waters of Lake Michigan after being overcome by 25 mph winds and four- to five-foot waves while attempting to kayak approximately eight miles from South Manitou Island to the mainland of the park at Glen Haven. 

A ranger stationed on South Manitou Island received a phone call from a sailing vessel captain who reported picking up three kayakers who were in jeopardy. Two other members of their party were reported missing on the water and had not been seen for two hours.

Rangers and personnel from Glen Lake Fire Department, Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office and the Coast Guard conducted a search and rescue mission in and around park waters. Through joint search efforts, the two missing teens were located approximately one mile off the shore of Glen Haven.  One was found in their boat and the other in the water. 

The two were hoisted from the water by a Coast Guard helicopter and transported to emergency personnel at a boat ramp in Glen Arbor. The sailing vessel transported those on board to a waiting ambulance in Leland Harbor.  

Due to timely reporting, quick actions of responders and interagency coordination, all five teenagers avoided life-threatening injury and only suffered minor to moderate hypothermia.  The water temperature on the surface of the lake was approximately 55 degrees. 

Ranger Jennifer Langel was the incident commander for the park.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV
Drowning, Near-Drowning Occur On Same Day

Rangers dealt with a drowning and a near-drowning on Lake Mohave on Sunday, June 15th.

The first incident occurred at Cabinsite Point. A 37-year-old man was swimming across the cove there to retrieve an inflatable raft for his daughter when he began to struggle and subsequently disappeared underwater. He was not wearing a life jacket. Local divers who were training in the area recovered his body approximately 40 feet below the surface. CPR was begun, but was ultimately unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at Western Arizona Regional Medical Center. 

Later in the day, rangers received a call concerning a possible drowning at Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave. An 18-year-old had swum approximately 50 yards from shore when he began having difficulty in the choppy waters and started shouting for help. He was reportedly submerged for a minute before two visitors on a jet ski pulled him onboard and took him to shore. Witnesses on shore notified the NPS within minutes of the incident. Rangers and medics arrived and were able to successfully treat him. He also was not wearing a life jacket.

Cape Cod National Seashore (MA)

Visitor Drowns Off Park Shoreline

On the morning of June 22nd, a 27-year-old California man drowned while attempting to swim from a sandbar to shore approximately two miles south of Race Point Beach within the boundaries of Cape Cod National Seashore. 

Rangers, lifeguards and Provincetown fire and rescue personnel responded, took over CPR from other park visitors and utilized an AED, but were unable to revive him.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV

Man Falls From Boat And Drowns In Lake

The body of a 36-year-old Las Vegas man who disappeared in the lake near Callville Bay Marina on the evening of Wednesday, July 2nd, was found by divers in 15 feet of water the following afternoon.

The park received the initial call just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday. The caller reported that the man fell off the front of a boat and disappeared underwater.

Rangers and concessions security personnel responded and began an immediate search from the point where he was last seen. The search resumed on Thursday with the assistance of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Search and Rescue Dive Team.

Witnesses reported that the man had been drinking and wasn’t wearing a life jacket. 

Hikers rescued after night out – http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/2222619-151/three-hikers-rescued-west-of-bend?entryType=0#

Lost hiker rescued – http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20140708/crews-rescue-july-4-hiker-in-strawberry-wilderness#.U8WO2Pnlr58

Missing tuber – http://wwlp.com/2014/07/06/search-and-rescue-in-the-deerfield-river/

Missing swimmer – http://www.dailytownsman.com/breaking_news/266086501.html

Search suspended for missing man – http://www.tricitynews.com/news/266256941.html

Hikers rescued after getting stuck on cliff – http://tumblerridgenews.com/?p=13528

Lost, barefoot hiker rescued – http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26118883/barefoot-hiker-wanders-great-sand-dunes-30-hours

Teen drowns at state park – http://fox13now.com/2014/07/09/crews-searching-for-teen-who-went-under-water-at-hyrum-state-park-reservoir/

Injured hiker rescued from cliff  http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/article_dcd721e6-0864-11e4-a0e7-001a4bcf6878.html

Missing teens rescued – http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_26131003/searches-continue-teens-last-seen-butte-creek-river

SAR resumes for missing hiker – http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/yourtown/oxford/11333984.Search_for_Tom/

Dehydrated hiker rescued from Pacific Crest Trail – http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/inbrief/hiker-rescued-on-pacific-crest-trail/article_6a9c659a-0969-11e4-91ad-001a4bcf887a.html

Missing kayakers rescued – http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/door-county/news/2014/07/11/missing-kayakers-located-michigan-waters/12514405/

Technical rescue for injured hikerhttp://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/door-county/news/2014/07/11/missing-kayakers-located-michigan-waters/12514405/

School group rescued – http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/schoolgirls-rescued-bush-near-waikino-6026298

Family rescued after vehicle gets stuck in mud – http://www.mybighornbasin.com/Worland-Family-Rescued-from-Remote-Park-County/19405360

Injured climber rescued after fall – http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/fire-rescue/rock-climber-grateful-save-metro-s-search-and-rescue-team

Conservation officers conduct multiple rescues in White Mountains –  http://www.conwaydailysun.com/newsx/local-news/114670-fish-and-game-conservation-officers-respond-to-multiple-search-and-rescue-calls-in-white-mountains

Party of eight rescued off mountain – http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/619515/8-hikers-rescued-in-cavite-mountain