Tag Archives: injured

Survival Weekly – 10/15/15…


Image: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11927894/Hunter-lost-in-Australian-wilderness-for-six-days-ate-ants-to-survive.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 – 

Missing hunter rescued after week ordeal –http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11927894/Hunter-lost-in-Australian-wilderness-for-six-days-ate-ants-to-survive.html

Two students found after month long search – http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/two-orang-asli-students-found-alive-after-month-75844

News – 

“Save Dave” Campaign launched – http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/72957642/Campaign-launched-for-embattled-Kaikoura-rescue-pilot-Dave-Armstrong

Transforming SAR drones – http://www.businessinsider.com.au/harvard-robobee-now-has-ability-to-swim-underwater-2015-10

Family to be billed for rescue – http://www.telegram.com/article/20151013/NEWS/151019719

Water Safety – 

SAR for missing boater – http://www.nebraska.tv/story/30236302/rescue-teams-search-for-missing-boater-after-4-go-into-reservoir

Hiking – 

Missing boys found – http://www.wkyt.com/wymt/home/headlines/Children-missing-in-Red-River-Gorge-found-alive-331705831.html

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Mushroom hunter rescued – http://www.kimatv.com/news/local/332489952.html

Missing hunter found – http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=214131&fm=newsmain%2Cnarts

Injured hunter rescued – http://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/332099892.html

Fatal hunting accident – http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/update-local-boy-dies-in-saturday-hunting-accident/article_14559e82-82b4-5990-92ad-e8118a4eb447.html


Image: http://www.nsnews.com/news/woman-with-severe-injuries-saved-by-north-shore-rescue-1.2085299

Climbing – 

Canyoneering Fatality in Not Imlay Canyon in Zion National Park

Springdale, Utah: On Friday, October 2, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Zion National Park was alerted to a canyoneering accident in Not Imlay Canyon. A rescue operation was started immediately. A helicopter was used to drop off a Search and Rescue team at the top of the canyon. At 7:20 p.m., Park Rangers found the individual, Christian Louis Johnson, deceased. Johnson, 50, is from Saint George, Utah.

Not Imlay Canyon is a side canyon of Imlay Canyon. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as a shorter, drier route compared to Imlay Canyon but it is not any less technical or dangerous.

Johnson was canyoneering with a party of four, including his husband Everett Boutillet. The two had been canyoneering together since 2010 and had “descended more than 100 canyons 200 times in five states” according to Boutillet. This was the couple’s second time in Not Imlay Canyon. The accident occurred on the first rappel in the canyon.

“Zion was our favorite park. Our favorite place to be. Our first canyon was the ‘Subway’ and we were instantly addicted,” said Boutillet. “Louis and I understood the risks, but the joy that it brought outweighed them.” Johnson’s mother, Joy Johnson, added “Nature gave him so much peace.”

“We also want to share our gratitude for those that went out to him and brought him back and to the personnel for keeping us informed,” said Joy Johnson. “Also our gratitude to his canyoneering family, who have sent Louis and Everett well wishes from all around the world.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Zion National Park are investigating the incident. More information will become available once the investigation is complete.

“Our condolences go out to Louis’ family and friends,” said Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh.

Fatality On Longs Peak Recovery Efforts Complete

At 10:30 p.m. Friday night, October 2, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified that Spencer Veysey, 26, of Missoula, Montana was overdue. He had been planning to summit Longs Peak. It was unclear what route he was intending to take to the summit.

After he failed to return by Saturday morning, park rangers searched areas of the Keyhole Route as well as near Chasm Lake. Rangers experienced icy conditions during search efforts.  Late Saturday afternoon, park rangers found Veysey’s body at the bottom of Lambs Slide on the east face of Longs Peak.  Rangers stayed at the Chasm Shelter, near his body last night.

This morning rangers prepared his body for transport.  His body was flown from the scene to a landing spot at Upper Beaver Meadows at approximately 11:30 a.m. and transferred to the Boulder County Coroner. Rangers are hiking out to the Longs Peak Trailhead.

Climber rescued – http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/10/02/salem-climber-saved-north-sister-daring-rescue/73241178/

Vehicles – 

Pilot rescued – http://www.news.com.au/national/western-australia/light-plane-crash-in-was-gascoyne-emergency-crews-en-route/story-fnii5thn-1227555478407

Maritime search – https://caymannewsservice.com/2015/10/police-search-and-rescue-underway-off-north-coast/

Helicopter pilot rescued – http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/14/asia/indonesia-lake-helicopter-crash-survivor/index.html

Mountain biker rescued – http://democratherald.com/news/local/lcso-search-and-rescue-assist-injured-mountain-cyclist/article_fc01eb82-e6c6-574f-bf89-bdf584131798.html


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


Image: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11927894/Hunter-lost-in-Australian-wilderness-for-six-days-ate-ants-to-survive.html

Survival Weekly – 8/25/14…


Featured – 

I highlighted key factors in this story. Day hikers would suggest they had minimal gear, but experienced would imply skills. Weather can initiate a survival situation, especially in the mountains where it can change suddenly. The SAR was initiated by a family member’s report, so their trip plan worked when they did not report in. I would be curious to know why they chose to leave their location after contacting family by phone. It seems that it must have been a calculated decision. Maybe to get better reception? Better shelter?

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Panhandle Gap Search Comes To Successful Conclusion

Search teams successfully located two missing day hikers in the Summerland area of the park on August 14th.

On Tuesday, August 12th, the two experienced hikers left the Summerland trailhead on the park’s east side with the intention of hiking through Summerland and Panhandle Gap, where they planned to traverse through Cowlitz Chimneys to Owyhigh. A severe storm caught them in the Chimneys, where they sheltered in place.

The next morning, following an overdue party report, a hasty search was conducted by park staff pulled from the Shadow Lake Fire. The hikers made contact with the park midday by cell phone through a family member, providing brief information before the call was lost. They moved on after reporting their location, missing park crews by four hours.

The pair backtracked to Panhandle Gap the next morning. Mountain rescue crews located them below the Gap. They were uninjured and completed the hike out to the trailhead.

Thirty people were assigned to the incident from Seattle, Tacoma, Olympic, and Everett mountain rescue teams, Central Pierce County, and park staff. Quincy Maret was incident commander.

News – 

Cyborg moth SAR drones –  http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/16724/20140820/cyborg-moth-biobots-fly-future-search-rescue-missions-video.htm

Hiking – 

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)

Young Girl Dies In Fall Into Canyon

An eight-year-old California girl was killed in a fall into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on the morning of Sunday, August 17th.

The young girl was hiking with family members along the trail to the brink of the Lower Falls when the accident occurred. About two thirds of the way down the trail toward the observation platform, she reportedly stepped off the trail, lost her footing, and fell approximately 550 feet into the canyon.

Park personnel retrieved her body around noon on Sunday.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Body Of Missing Hiker Found By Searchers

On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 20th, the body of missing hiker Gregory Muck was recovered in the area northwest of Mount Gardiner in Kings Canyon National Park. He is presumed to have fallen in a steep and rocky area at approximately 12,000 feet in elevation.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.

On August 10th, Muck departed on a solo hike from the Roads End area of Kings Canyon National Park. He planned to hike to Gardiner Basin via Gardiner Pass. After several days in the basin, he planned to hike out Gardiner Creek to Woods Creek Trail and return to Roads End in Cedar Grove by August 17th.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ SAR staff, supported by searchers from Yosemite SAR, Yosemite’s search dog team (YODOGs), and a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol, began a search for this 46-year-old Santa Cruz, California, man on August 18th after he was reported overdue from a backpacking trip in Kings Canyon. A total of 71 NPS staff and park partners worked on the three-day-long search.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Body Of Missing Concession Employee Found

Search teams from the park and Teton County Search and Rescue found the body of Aleksandr “Sasha” Sagiev, 20, of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, below Cache Couloir in Cache Gulch on Friday, August 22nd. He’d been the subject of a three-day-long search.

Sagiev, a seasonal employee of Dornan’s in Moose, Wyoming, was reported missing on the morning of Monday, August 18th. He had not been seen by coworkers since the previous afternoon.

The preliminary investigation and search focused on areas in and around Moose. New information received on Thursday afternoon indicated that Sagiev may have started a hike from Taggart Lake Trailhead around 9 a.m. on Monday. With a break in the inclement weather, an aerial search was conducted Thursday afternoon over Taggart and Delta lakes, but no sign of Sagiev was found.

Approximately 60 searchers gathered on Friday morning to explore areas where Sagiev may have hiked in the Tetons. For a second day, the weather was extremely rainy with dense clouds covering the Teton peaks.

Search teams found Sagiev’s body that afternoon in Glacier Gulch about a third of a mile west of Delta Lake.  He was declared dead at the scene by the searchers in consultation with the park’s medical director. The circumstances of Sagiev’s death are still under investigation. 

Sagiev was wearing the metallic blue “Sochi” jacket described in missing person flyers distributed to the public, which helped in locating his body in the rocky terrain.

Search for missing hiker – http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_26360398/dozen-search-and-rescue-teams-look-missing-hiker

Stranded couple rescued – http://fox13now.com/2014/08/17/search-and-rescue-crews-respond-to-couple-in-little-cottonwood-canyon/

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2014/08/18/crews-rescuing-hiker-horsetooth-rock/14233905/

Scout leader rescued – http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/search-and-rescue-crews-called-out-to-rescue-boy-s/38803/3WcJVEN5okqZLMoiJDVzIw

Dehydrated hikers rescued – http://www.willcoxrangenews.com/news/article_12199054-27f1-11e4-b72e-001a4bcf887a.html

Injured hiker rescued – http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/442-transport-and-rescue-squadron-crew-come-to-the-aid-of-an-injured-hiker

SAR underway for missing camper –http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/08/22/search-continues-for-aspen-woman-missing-since-sunday/

Climbing –

Stranded climbers rescued – http://www.castanet.net/news/Kamloops/121261/Busy-day-for-search-and-rescue

Stranded hiker rescued off cliff – http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20140822/man-rescued-from-san-pedro-cliff-after-slipping-near-point-fermin-park

Injured climber rescued – http://globalnews.ca/news/1523812/busy-day-for-search-and-rescue-crews-at-local-hot-spots/

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Missing hunter found – http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/search-and-rescue-crews-looking-for-a-missing-hunt/22456/lIisYXVCdkq-GabpWXlI0g

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (AK)
Rangers Assist In Treatment Of Poisoning Victim

On the night of Tuesday, August 12th, rangers responded to a mutual aid request made by the Alaska State Troopers. 

Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department’s EMS squad had responded to a 911 call regarding a 57-year-old emotionally disturbed woman who had ingested poisonous mushrooms and was refusing medical attention.  The Gustavus volunteers contacted the Alaska State Troopers office to request law enforcement assistance in order to place the patient under protective custody. 

Rangers responded and waited until the air ambulance flight crew arrived. They then conducted an Operational Leadership GAR assessment and executed a plan led by the flight nurse to restrain and sedate the woman in order to transport her to Juneau for further evaluation. The woman was flown to Juneau without further incident. 

The park had received a ‘be on the lookout’ call from the Alaska Regional Communication Center, advising that a welfare check on her was needed. According to the center, she’d arrived in Gustavus on the Alaska state ferry.

The woman’s lifelong partner said that she did this about once a year, and had once ended up under protective custody in Madagascar. Rangers were unaware that she had been staying at a private residence.

Watersports – 

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Body Of Missing Concession Employee Found

The body of a young man missing in since the evening of Monday, August 11th, has been recovered.

Twenty-two year old Darien Latty had gone tubing Monday with friends on the Lamar River near Tower Junction. Shortly after reaching the point where the Lamar River flows into the Yellowstone River, his two companions managed to get to the river’s edge and get out of the much faster moving water.  Latty was last seen being swept downstream, separated from his inner tube and without a life jacket.

Search efforts began Monday evening.   At its peak, over 50 people were involved in the search, which included a helicopter, three dog teams, and several groups of searchers on foot.

Late last Friday, searchers spotted what they thought was a submerged body pinned to a large rock in a very steep and dangerous section of the Yellowstone River, about a quarter mile downstream from where Latty was last seen.

A swiftwater rescue team from Gallatin County, Montana, was called in on Saturday to navigate the river.  Using kayaks and a raft anchored to both banks of the river, they were able to dislodge and recover Latty’s body on Saturday afternoon.  A helicopter was utilized to remove his body from the remote area. 

The corner made a positive identification Saturday evening.

Latty, who was from northeastern Georgia community of Demorest, was in Yellowstone working as a summer seasonal employee at Roosevelt Lodge. An autopsy will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

Floating the river is prohibited by park regulations.

Lake Mead NRA – NV, AZ
Search In Progress For Missing Swimmer

Rangers are searching for a missing 31-year-old Southern California man who was last seen in the water near Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave.

Just after noon on Saturday, August 16th, the park received a report that the man had jumped off a boat into the water, had begun struggling, and soon disappeared underwater. Witnesses said the victim was not wearing a life jacket.

Rangers, Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens and employees from the nearby marina immediately began searching for the missing man, who is believed to be around 100 yards from the shoreline in an area that is 80 to 100 feet deep. The water in the area is usually clear, but visibility is currently very limited due to recent storms, making the search more challenging.

Crews are continuing to search the area. The incident is under investigation.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
Teenager’s Body Recovered From Lake Powell

Park dispatch received a 911 call reporting a missing swimmer near Bullfrog Marina around mid-afternoon on Thursday, August 14th.

Rangers immediately began a boat and air search of the area, continuing until it became dark. They resumed their efforts the next morning, joined by a park dive team.

The body of the 19-year-old, a Mexican national living in the Salt Lake City area, was recovered late that morning. He is presumed to have drowned.

The incident was jointly investigated by the National Park Service and Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

Injured beachcomber rescued – http://www.comoxvalleyecho.com/news/local/cfb-comox-crews-rescue-woman-from-remote-beach-1.1322818

Missing boaters rescued – http://www.grandforksherald.com/content/night-time-mission-rescues-2-adults-and-2-children-stranded-lake

Stranded rafters rescued – http://www.svherald.com/content/derek-jordan/2014/08/24/387790

The “Reality” of survival…


This past weekend during a Survival 101 class, one of the participants brought up some interesting points. He is of like mind, but pointed out that a lot of internet survival experts tout that you will not have any gear like a shelter kit, a lighter, or a metal match in a survival scenario. Do yourself a favor and check those guys credentials. Do they have operational Search and Rescue experience? Do they work or live in a remote area where they use those skills daily? I all bullshit on those statements on two accounts.

1. One never hears about situations where people are adequately prepared in a survival scenario, because they usually resolve themselves. By it’s definition, a “survival” event is life threatening. If we carry the right gear and have the right skills, then something that could have progressed into a life-threatening event, just became an inconvenience. A “Real” reality survival show would be boring as hell. It would show someone filling out a trip plan, researching the area and expected weather, taking proper gear, and returning safely. No drama, no drinking their own piss, or jumping off cliffs. Like I said, boring.

2. I have yet to read about “survival” scenario where a person entered the wilderness, non-voluntarily, naked. If you know of an account, please message me the details. If you have clothes, then you probably have pockets, and there is no excuse not to carry some light weight lifesavers. A 55 gallon trash bag weighs 4 ounces, a metal match 2 ounces, and a pimped out Bic lighter in a balloon is 1.5 ounces. The most important signalling item weighs nothing, because you leave it a home with your loved ones. http://bigpigoutdoors.net/bpo-trip-plan.html

Making natural shelter, friction fires, and rock boiling water are great skills to have in the toolbox, but to me are a sign someone really screwed up and chose not to properly prepare. I love bushcraft and primitive skills, but I also like to keep them in the proper context. In a prior class, I asked a student what he would have done upon exiting the water, completely soaked and cold. His reply was to start working on a bow drill fire, which he had never attempted, but had seen on multiple TV shows. Now a graduate of Survival 101, he has a better plan and gear that has been executed and used under those exact conditions.

In an earlier post, I described BigPig Outdoors training goals in regards to preparing students.

1. To realize that injury is common theme. Keeping that in mind, we prepare mentally and choose our gear and training accordingly.

2. That realistically, SAR personnel may not reach us until the next operational period and we should train to spend the night out with minimal gear in adverse weather.

3. Rain, sweat, snow or immersion can soak us and our gear, so we choose our mindset, clothing, and gear with that in mind.

By studying and reading about the trials and triumphs of others, we can learn from their experiences. Read below and check back weekly for the “Real” stories of survival.

Injured from fall, 004 “Whiskey” Clay to the rescue – Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (AZ)
Injured Woman Rescued Through Interagency Effort

On the night of February 22nd, rangers responded to a report of visitors hearing screaming in Arch Canyon and began a hasty search along the established visitor trail with assistance from a Border Patrol agent. A Customs and Border Protection helicopter and high-altitude aircraft joined the effort.

About 45 minutes later, two people were spotted from the aircraft, separated by a significant elevation gap. Rangers reached the first person, who was uninjured, and escorted her down to the visitor trail while the agent attempted to find and reach the second person, who was suffering from injuries sustained in a fall of from 20 to 30 feet. She was found a short time later.

Other rangers responded with a litter, medical equipment and SAR equipment. Due to darkness, terrain and the number of personnel engaged, rangers decided to keep the woman comfortable and stay with her throughout the night.

At first light, more rangers arrived on scene along with US Border Patrol agents from the Ajo Station and the Border Patrol Search, Trauma & Rescue (BORSTAR) Team. The joint team began a high-angle rescue operation, lowering the injured woman from a cliff into a more open area. 

The rescuers were joined by an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter, which short-hauled the woman out of the canyon on a 150-foot line. She was then flown via medical helicopter to a Tucson hospital, where she was treated for two fractured legs, a fractured clavicle and multiple abrasions and lacerations.

This incident was executed using assets from the NPS, Border Patrol, Arizona Department of Public Safety and Native Air Ambulance Service.

[Submitted by Marshall Anderson, Supervisory Park Ranger]

Missing skier attempts snow shelter: http://www.fox21news.com/news/story.aspx?id=1013837#.Uxz2cvldX58

Hikers trapped by flood waters:  http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/02/us/california-mudslides/

Unprepared hiker has anxiety attack and leads to hypothermia: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3346071.shtml?cat=504#.Uxz4zPldX58

Lost “trampers” (New Zealand word for hikers): http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/missing-trampers-located/5/183285

Survival Weekly..


A roundup of true tales from the field..

Darkness falls – Don’t hike without headlamps, flashlights, and extra batteries – http://www.independent.com/news/2014/feb/17/six-exchange-students-rescued-mission-canyon/

A good example of a trip plan initiating a SAR response – http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/02/18/eda-search-and-rescue-find-missing-hikers-in-az-strip/#.UwqYq_ldX58

Injury – Ankle fracture, one of the most likely injuries you may encounter – http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_01c264da-9762-11e3-b0e0-0019bb2963f4.html

Mechanical failure – Should I stay or should I go? http://abcnews.go.com/US/idaho-families-walk-19-miles-stranded-snow/story?id=22560894

Lost – Skied out of bounds in heavy fog and had to spend the night out. http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/246609591.html

This week in survival…


My mind works like a funnel. I pour a whole lot of stuff into it and try to simplify complex problems. If you come to a class you will hear me lecture of the causes of wilderness emergencies. We write list them and then narrow them down in order to simplify training goals and the gear we carry. Our mission at BigPig Outdoors is to get you ready to handle:

  1. Injury
  2. Spending the night out with minimal gear in inclement weather
  3. Immersion – Cold & Wet

That is the narrow end of the funnel. On the other end are the causes of wilderness emergencies that I have identified:

  • Injury and illness                   = Injury
  • Disorientation – a.k.a. “lost”  = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Darkness falls                         = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Inclement weather                 = Bad weather, Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Vehicle  breakdown (ATV, car, vessel, airplane, etc.)  = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Vehicle  crash                         = Injury, Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Gear failure                            = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Getting stranded                   = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Immersion scenario              = Cold & Wet

That being said, from now on when I post the true survival stories, I will list them under the appropriate category.

Vehicle crash:

I don’t know how I missed this, but a buddy sent this amazing story of a guy surviving 3 days underwater in a sunken ship. Imagine being in an upside down ship, in the dark, on the bottom of the ocean for 3 days. Imagine the fear, doubt, and negative thoughts that would attack you in that lonely, dark place. PMA, positive mental attitude, and faith, two common traits of survivors-  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131204-nigerian-air-bubble-survival-shipwreck-viral-video-science/


Hunter with self-inflicted gunshot. Having the ability and gear to handle trauma from your weapon or your hunting buddy’s should be part of your first aid kit if you are hunting. – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/hunter-who-shot-himself-in-the-face-tells-story-of-survival-1.2536351

Vehicle Breakdown: Stranded and stuck in snow. Have your vehicle prepped – http://elkodaily.com/news/local/searchers-find-stranded-men/article_11062d90-8ecb-11e3-bcb3-001a4bcf887a.html

Disorientation: Two missing hikers found. Stayed put and built a fire – http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/02/09/2-missing-hikers-found-by-antelope-valley-search-and-rescue-squad/

Three skiers rescued. Built a snow cave. If you ever thought that rescuers will drop out of the sky at the push of a couple buttons, read this article carefully and notice the decision making process involved in evaluating risk to the rescuers. The conditions may be so bad or personnel unavailable, that rescue may not come. Do your part. Fill out a trip plan, carry the right gear, develop skills to handle emergencies, and make good decisions. –  http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2014/02/rescue-three-skiers-grand-teton-national-park-offers-some-good-lessons-learned24645

Lost snowboarder found – http://www.tetonvalleynews.net/page2/snowboarder-found-in-south-leigh-after-leaving-resort-boundary/article_1323db28-8f83-11e3-b3a0-001a4bcf887a.html

Mentioned in the above incident, this fatality from 2010 was in the same area. http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/lost-skier-dies-from-hypothermia/article_7861f69f-2805-5c8d-b533-8ca9c91fe713.html