Tag Archives: lost

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 – 5/29/15…

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

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

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

Featured – 

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

News – 

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

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

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

Water Safety – 

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

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

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

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


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

Hiking – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Climbing – 

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

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

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

Vehicles – 

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

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

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

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

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

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

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

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

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


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

Survival Weekly – 4/21/15…


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 – 

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Rescue Team Member Injured In Training Accident

On Wednesday, April 8th, the park’s High Angle Rescue Team conducted a monthly scheduled joint-agency high angle rescue training session at High Point State Park in northwestern New Jersey near the park. The joint-agency team is comprised of park personnel, New Jersey state agencies personnel, and park volunteers.

Due to inclement weather on April 8th, it was decided to relocate the training inside the monument tower at High Point’s summit. There have been several previous training sessions conducted at the park which have taken place inside the monument, which is a stone masonry obelisk standing approximately 226 feet high. The interior of the monument has a metal staircase wrapping around the inside walls with horizontal landings at each level, which provides an unobstructed area in the center for rappelling or other rope rescue training.

This training session was dedicated to raising and lowering an empty basket stretcher with a litter attendant. There were eight participants, including a team leader (a Delaware Water Gap employee) and one assistant team leader (a New Jersey State Park employee). The hauling system was rigged by the assistant team leader and a regular team member (Delaware Water Gap employee). The haul system was configured for use by rescuers situated on a horizontal landing that was approximately 26 feet above a concrete surface. The configuration permitted raising and lowering each training participant through separate evolutions as the litter attendant.

The rescuers on the second floor landing operated the hauling system on the main line, which was routed at an angle up through a high directional comprised of two locking carabiners anchored to the metal stairway structure with nylon webbing at the next level above.  The webbing was rigged in a “wrap three-pull two” configuration and the area where the two wraps contacted the metal handrail stanchion was wrapped with a canvas edge guard.  The leg of webbing with the two directional carabiners was positioned near additional unprotected metal stairway components.  A managed separate belay line was not employed.

During the final training evolution, the assistant team leader served as the litter attendant. Just before noon, he was in the upper litter attendant position, being lowered, when the upper directional anchor failed, causing him to fall  approximately 20 feet, initially colliding with a stair railing and then the concrete surface. The injured rescuer was immediately attended to by team members on scene and an aeromedical helicopter was requested due to the fall, obvious arm fracture, and suspected back injury. The assistant team leader did not suffer a loss of consciousness following the accident.

Although the aeromedical helicopter reached the scene, it was cancelled prior to landing by responding local agency paramedics.  The injured man was packaged and transported to a local hospital by ground ambulance.  He has been subsequently released from the hospital and is recuperating at home.

Findings at the accident scene indicate that the webbing anchor attachment to the high directional became severed from contact with the metal stairway components during the repeated training evolutions, which lead to a loss of control of the load. The accident investigation will include a facilitated learning analysis, which will be prepared and published by the WASO Emergency Services Office in order to provide an accurate and detailed understanding of this event for all NPS technical rescue personnel.

News – 

Drones & SAR –

Water Safety – 

Everglades National Park (FL)
Man Dies In Boating Mishap

On the evening of February 6th, Richard Raasch, 68, and Fred Thompson, 70, were in a 17-foot aluminum canoe powered by a small 4 horsepower outboard motor, en route to Jewell Key to camp for the night. This was to be the first night of a multi-day camping trip.

The men had navigated Sandfly Pass and made a wrong turn to the southeast and were in the vicinity of Rabbit Key when they saw another vessel and asked for directions.  When they turned back to the northwest to head towards Jewell Key they began taking a forward quartering sea over their starboard bow.

Due to the low freeboard of the canoe, they began taking on small amounts of overspray and had to bail water. They made it to Demijohn Key, where they bailed and rested but then decided to head the final mile to Jewell Key, which was across Chokoloskee Pass. Upon entering the pass, they hit deeper water and a falling tide. With the tide and the wind both going in the same direction, the larger waves caused them to take on too much water and the vessel quickly swamped.

Both men had on lifejackets. Raasch was able to swim to Jewell Key, where he spent the night.  On February 8th around noon he was able to wave down a passing boater. The search for Thompson ended on the afternoon of February 9th when rangers found him floating in a debris field about 11 miles off shore in the Gulf of Mexico. He did not survive.

Assisting in the search were personnel from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Coast Guard and NPS staff from both Everglades and Big Cypress.

Search for missing sailor http://splash247.com/search-and-rescue-fails-to-find-man-overboard-off-fraser-island/

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered – http://www.cbncompass.ca/News/Local/2015-04-18/article-4116633/Body-recovered-after-week-long-search/1

SAR for missing girl – http://www.kpax.com/story/28845584/search-and-rescue-underway-for-little-girl-at-state-park

Coastguard rescue helicopter G CGWB on final approach to its base at Osprey Quay on Portland Dorset UK. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.

Hiking – 

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Everglades National Park (FL)
Missing Father And Son Found Through Interagency Search

The park received a call at 1 a.m. on January 17th reporting that a father and son were overdue from a fishing trip. The two were thought to have launched their boat the day before into Florida Bay from the Flamingo Marina; their direction was unknown.

An immediate land-based search led to the discovery of their empty truck and boat trailer at the Flamingo parking area. Rangers began a water-based search at first light.

Everglades rangers and volunteers were joined by a United States Coast Guard vessel and five Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission vessels. A Coast Guard helicopter and two fixed-wing planes from the Coast Guard and commission were also utilized.  Interviews were also conducted with family and Friends in an effort to determine if the party had a specific itinerary.

Everglades rangers located the missing father and son in good condition about a mile offshore in the Gulf of Mexico just before noon. They were safely reunited with family waiting at the Flamingo Ranger Station.  Follow-up interviews with the subjects revealed that they had decided to spend the night on the water without advising the reporting party of the change in plans.

Injured loggers rescued – http://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/North_Okanagan/15/04/15/Search_and_Rescue_Called_to_Retrieve_Hurt_Loggers_Near_Lumby

Treasure hunters rescued – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11547689/Major-rescue-as-15-treasure-hunters-get-stuck-in-mud.html

SAR for oyster fisherman – http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/3083001-151/deschutes-search-and-rescue-locates-lost-hiker#

Climbing – 

Zion National Park (UT)
Injured Man Rescued From Slot Canyon

Park dispatch was contacted by the fee ranger at Tunnel East around 2 p.m. on the afternoon of April 3rd and informed that there was an injured man in Pine Creek Canyon requesting assistance. Pine Creek is a technical slot canyon requiring wet suits and multiple rappels.

The reporting party was a member of the injured person’s group and had ascended a rope that another group in the canyon had fixed at the first rappel. He said that a member of his party had broken his ankle at the second rappel in Pine Creek and would need SAR personnel to help him out.

A technical rescue team was organized and had a high line with a reeve system set up by 5 p.m. A high line with a reeve is a system where a rope spanning the canyon is tensioned and the rescuer and litter are attached to the high line with a pulley and pulled across using tag lines on either side of the canyon. The rescuer is positioned directly over the patient in the slot canyon and lowered using a technique called a reeve.

Ranger-Medic Ryan McDonald-O’Lear, who was lowered to the man, provided medical care and packaged him for extrication. Both were then raised to the high line and moved back across the span to the Canyon Overlook Trail. The injured man was carried off the trail by wheeled litter and transported via park ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Fifteen SAR personnel took part in the rescue, which took approximately 5 hours to complete.

New River Gorge National River (WV)
Two Brothers Injured In Falling Accidents

Just after 7:30 pm last Sunday evening, rangers received a report that a 13-year-old boy had fallen approximately 50 feet from the rock cliffs at the end of the Long Point trail. Several local fire departments from Fayette County, the Fayette County Rope Rescue Team, local EMS, and rangers responded.

While the initial response was underway, rescuers received an update that the brother of the first falling victim, age 19, had fallen about 100 feet in the same area and was also injured.

Fire department members and the Fayette County Rope Rescue Team reached the 13-year-old brother first and found him to be conscious but with pelvic, back, and ankle pain. He was extracted by a technical litter raise system. The team provided emergency care and lifted him to the cliff top. He was then carried out by litter to the trailhead, where he was airlifted by helicopter to a local hospital.

Meanwhile, rescuers searched for the 19-year-old brother. Ranger Mark Faherty found him several hundred yards away from the first incident site. He was able to stand and walk and was walked out by rescue personnel down to the Kaymoor Trail and out to a waiting ambulance at Fayette Station Road.

Both brothers are reported to be in stable condition and are at Charleston Area Medical Center. The preliminary investigation indicates that the younger brother fell from the cliffs and landed at the bottom. The older brother then himself fell while trying to reach the younger.

Rangers Mark Faherty, Nate Freier, and FTEP ranger/ trainee Ron Babus responded from the NPS.

Vehicles – 

Snowmobilers rescued – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/natuashish-man-helps-rescue-3-missing-snowmobilers-1.3037800

Small plane crash – http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/2015/04/20/lakeland-plane-crash/26087827/

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 – 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 – 3/31/15…


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 – 

Yosemite Falls helicopter rescue with video –  http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article16808024.html

News – 

BORSTAR expanding ops – http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/border-patrol-expanding-search-and-rescue-teams/nkhfH/

Water Safety – 

SAR for missing boater – http://www.katc.com/story/28642446/search-and-rescue-crews-look-for-missing-boater-in-fatal-boating-accident

Lake rescue http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=1184100#.VRn_9flQMsM

Woman recovered from creek – http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/local/west-seneca/2015/03/28/search-and-rescue-on-buffalo-creek-underway-in-west-seneca/70600840/

Man recovered from river – http://www.clarechampion.ie/body-recovered-from-river-shannon/

Coast Guard rescues two boaters – http://abc7news.com/news/coast-guard-rescues-2-people-from-sinking-boat-in-monterey-county/581706/

Rescue on the river –  http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/sacramento/2015/03/27/water-rescue-in-american-river/70548610/

SAR launched for ice flow rider http://www.torontosun.com/2015/03/26/ice-floe-riding-navy-diver-sparks-search-and-rescue-operation

SAR suspended for missing man – http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2015/mar/25/young-man-attempts-rescue-dog-ocean-near-orick-now/

Winter Sports – 

SAR numbers up in Nunavut – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/number-of-search-and-rescues-on-the-rise-in-nunavut-1.3011578

Hiking – 

Death Valley National Park (CA)
Two Day Search Ends With Rescue

On the evening of Monday, March 23rd, rangers received a report that a visitor was stranded on a ledge in Golden Canyon, a popular hiking area in Death Valley. Rangers hiked the trail system by headlamp but were unable to locate the visitor.

On Tuesday, park personnel were able to make voice contact with the man, who was trapped at the top of a series of dry waterfalls, some of which were greater than 100 feet high. Rangers directed a U.S. Navy search and rescue helicopter to his location, where he was hoisted into the aircraft without incident.

He was flown to the Furnace Creek Airfield, where he was medically evaluated and debriefed. He said that he left the main trail system and began following a series of social trails until he became “cliffed out”. Once he realized that he was trapped he sheltered in place overnight and awaited rescue.

Search and rescue efforts were supported by members of protection, fee collection, interpretation, resource management, maintenance, and management branches, as well as military personnel from the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –


Hunter-gatherer – 

Body of missing fisherman recovered – http://fox13now.com/2015/03/25/crews-recover-body-of-man-missing-at-willard-bay-since-sunday/

Climbing – 

Injured climber rescued – http://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/South_Okanagan/15/03/30/Penticton_Search_and_Rescue_Evacuate_Injured_Climber_at_Skaha_Bluffs

Climbers rescued – http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/03/30/rescued-climbers-started-late-in-day/70694054/

Vehicles – 

Fatal pane crash –  http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2015/03/30/main_line_times/news/doc55193c97eb419798293118.txt

Another plane crash – http://fox4kc.com/2015/03/31/fatal-plane-crash-reported-in-pleasanton-kansas/

Urban – 

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

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


Survival Weekly – 3/17/15…


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 – 

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

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

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

News – 

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

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


Water Safety – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Winter Sports – 

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

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

Hiking – 

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

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

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Climbing – 

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

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


Vehicles – 

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

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

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

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

Urban – 

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

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

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


Survival Weekly – 12/22/14…


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 – 

Got survival gear in your rig? Wrong turn leads to 10 day ordeal – http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/12/22/australia_family_stranded_in_the_wilderness_for_10_days_after_taking_a_wrong_turn.html

News – 

Officials seek $10.000 from rescued hiker – https://bangordailynews.com/2014/12/19/outdoors/baxter-state-park-officials-seek-10000-from-hiker-to-pay-for-search/

SAR exercise coordinator fined for failure to obtain permit – http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20141216/NEWS01/141219666/Probation-fine-for-ski-area-operator-

Winter Sports – 

Father and daughter spend night in snow cave (two videos) –   http://globalnews.ca/news/1738628/father-and-daughter-rescued-from-whistler-mountain/

Hiking – 

Injured hiker rescued – http://koin.com/2014/12/14/injured-hiker-59-rescued-near-wahkeena-falls/

Hikers rescued – http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/search-and-rescue-incident-cape-brett/5/210820

Lost hiker rescued – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377318

Search suspended for missing hiker – http://www.oregonlive.com/milwaukie/index.ssf/2014/12/post_41.html

Hunter-gatherer – 

Body of missing fisherman found – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377580

Hunting dogs rescued from gorge – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-30481711


Climbing – 

Buffalo NR – AR
Injured Climber Rescued In Difficult Nighttime Operation

On the afternoon of November 30th, BUFFSAR, the park’s search and rescue team, was activated for a high angle search and rescue mission involving a fall in the Ponca Wilderness near the Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls area.

Camron McLaughlan, 21, of Ozark, Missouri, was free climbing a vertical cliff when he fell from near the top of the approximately 150-foot-high bluff onto a ledge. He fell approximately 25 feet and landed on a ledge that was the size of a large round dining table. His companion ran up the very steep trail to a point where he had cell phone coverage and called for help.

ICS was immediately put in place, with Ranger Melissa Moses as the incident commander. Members of BUFFSAR were split into squads and positioned themselves above and below McLaughlan. The high angle squad traversed the rim of the canyon along a game trail that mirrors the ledge of the 209-foot-high waterfall. District Ranger Jason Flood rappelled down to him to begin initial treatment while the squad set up the lowering system.

As the litter reached the victim, litter attendant Logan Tucker had to wedge himself against the cliff face, as the ledge was too small for an additional person. Due to the height of the cliff, additional rope was added to the lowering system using a fisherman’s knot. After packaging McLaughlan, the litter was lowered in a horizontal position approximately 130 feet to a larger ledge and was then converted to a vertical position and lowered the remaining 150 feet through an extremely steep and heavily vegetated slope to the bottom of the bluff.

The litter squad took over the operation from there and began the carryout portion of the SAR. The terrain was extremely steep, with the litter team traversing over two-and-a-half miles of trail with a 1500 foot gain in elevation. Low angle belay systems were utilized on several occasions due to the steepness of the terrain. BUFFSAR brought McLaughlan to the trailhead at approximately 3 a.m. The waiting ambulance took him to North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison for initial treatment.

Within a matter of a few hours, the weather turned very quickly from a high of 73°F to 33°F, with a wind chill factor of 17°F, and it began sleeting.

This rescue, which occurred entirely at night and with rapidly deteriorating weather, was one of the most technically complex rescues in Buffalo National River’s history and serves as an excellent example of interagency teamwork.

In addition to the Buffalo National River protection rangers and BUFFSAR volunteers, groups participating in this operation included Alpena VFD, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Boone County Sherriff’s Office, Carroll County Sherriff’s Office Rescue Team, Compton VFD, Harrison Fire Department, Mennonite Disaster Services, National Park Service Fire Module, Newton County Sherriff’s Office, North Ark Regional Medical Center Ambulance, Tri-County Search and Rescue, and the Steel Creek Campground Hosts. In all, about 60 people were involved in the operation. Hot food and beverages were provided by the Red Cross to the members of the rescue party, who were more than ready after a major exertion and a 30-degree temperature drop.

Water Safety – 

Coast Guard searches for missing crew member –  http://www.guampdn.com/article/20141222/NEWS01/312220003/Search-ship-s-missing-crew-member-continues

Search continues for missing boy – http://westhawaiitoday.com/community-bulletin/search-continues-boy-missing-hapuna

Fisherman and Coast Guard rescue boaters – http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/27625514/coast-guard-rescues-four-people-from-boat-in-murrells-inlet

Vehicles – 

Missing snowmobiler rescued – http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/rescuers-find-missing-snowmobiler-in-gallatin-canyon/article_c6fa069c-8715-11e4-8da0-f7e06464238e.html

Two snowmobilers rescued –  http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/article_ba752b18-87d8-11e4-9120-2fa4d7bf9e65.html

Early morning river rescue – http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/dec/18/river-rescue/

Stranded teens rescued – http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/12/18/cmm-search-rescue-team-locates-stranded-teens-on-cedar-mountain-in-early-morning-hours/#.VJg2GV6gAHA

Drinking + ATV’s + Icy River = Bad News – http://www.adn.com/article/20141215/village-travelers-feared-lost-under-river-ice-had-been-drinking-troopers-say

Snowmobiler breaks through ice and is rescued – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tuktoyaktuk-man-rescued-after-fall-through-ice-on-snowmobile-1.2874047

Urban – 

Search for missing man – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/64349258/search-for-missing-christchurch-tradie-fruitless

Search suspended for missing man – http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3654122.shtml

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.html


Survival Weekly – 11/18/14…


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

Featured – 

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

News – 

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

Hiking – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunter-gatherer – 

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

Climbing – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water Safety –

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

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

Vehicles – 

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

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

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

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

Urban – 

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

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


Survival 101 dates announced!!…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Survival Weekly – 10/1/14…


Featured – I have a couple articles in the works, so these two are timely..

Fatal bear attack – http://www.nj.com/passaic-county/index.ssf/2014/09/bear_that_killed_edison_man_had_no_history_of_aggression_officials_say.html

Got Epi? – http://www.conwaydailysun.com/newsx/local-news/116716-bee-sting-leads-to-hiker-rescue-on-mt-washington

And since my buddies and I have been riding a lot lately… ATV rider spends night out – http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/2437155-151/atv-rider-spends-night-outdoors?entryType=0

News – 

Drone owners still fighting to help SAR – http://www.businessinsider.com/civilians-with-drones-lead-charge-in-search-and-rescue-2014-9

NH recovers costs for SAR operations –  http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140928/NEWHAMPSHIRE03/140929141

Urban – New category for the fine men of T-WERM

Alzheimer’s patient tracked with telemetry – http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Old-school-technology-helps-locate-missing-Alzheimers-patient-276404411.html

Crews search for hospital walk out – http://wkbn.com/2014/09/26/search-teams-will-unite-to-look-for-missing-man/

Search for missing teen – http://globalnews.ca/news/1549318/burnaby-rcmp-looking-for-missing-man/

Hiking – 

United States Park Police
Crew Of Eagle Two Makes Two Same-Day Rescues

On September 1st, USPP Lieutenant Simeon Klebaner and Ranger Michelle Schonzeit went hiking on Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park when they came upon a severely injured hiker.

While attempting to help the hiker out of the backcountry, they became concerned that wet terrain and potential storms would impede them in their efforts and might also cause additional injury to the victim. Klebaner accordingly contacted the Park Police Aviation Unit and asked for a helicopter extrication.

Pilot Officer Evasick and Rescue Technicians Sergeant Tolson and Sergeant Robbins responded in Eagle Two and conducted a hoist rescue of the injured hiker.

Once the injured hiker was safely delivered to the hospital, U.S. Park Police units responded to a call of an injured 12-year-old with a traumatic leg injury on the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls Park. Eagle Two headed to that location, where they mad another hoist rescue.

The Aviation Unit has completed 16 hoist rescues since this past January, surpassing 2013’s ten hoist rescues conducted throughout the course of the year.

Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Hiker Dies On North Kaibab Trail

On the afternoon of Friday, September 19th, park dispatch received a 911 call from a visitor reporting that a hiker had fallen and was having trouble breathing.

Park rangers responded by helicopter and found the man about a half mile below Ribbon Falls on the North Kaibab Trail. A park EMT and two medics were inserted and assisted with CPR, which was already in progress. All efforts to resuscitate the man proved unsuccessful.

Michael Sperry, 46, of Valparaiso, Indiana, had been on a rim-to-rim extended day hike with his two brothers when he collapsed. Witnesses, who began CPR, reported an immediate loss of consciousness from which he never recovered. CPR efforts continued for over an hour before he was pronounced dead.

His body was flown to the South Rim and then transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office in Flagstaff for an autopsy.

Boulder traps hiker, technical rescue ensues – http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Idaho-hiker-rescued-after-getting-leg-stuck-under-massive-boulder-275998711.html


Family rescued of peak – http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/2436066-151/family-hiking-south-sister-assisted?entryType=0

Missing hiker rescued – http://www.edmontonsun.com/2014/09/23/helicopter-squadron-rescues-injured-hiker-southwest-of-edmonton

Missing hiker found – http://www.turnto10.com/story/26618377/ri-man-missing-on-hike-in-wyoming-forest

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.timescolonist.com/helicopter-team-rescues-woman-who-fell-on-west-coast-trail-1.1389328

Hikers trapped by volcano rescued – http://www.toledoblade.com/World/2014/09/27/Abe-orders-military-rescue-of-hikers-trapped-by-erupting-volcano.html

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Air-unit-helps-rescue-two-lost-hikers-277342281.html

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Injured-walker-carried-Dartmoor-search-rescue/story-23014253-detail/story.html

Stranded hikers rescued – http://www.scsun-news.com/silver_city-news/ci_26630352

Climbing – safe and sound this week

Watersports – 

Gauley River National Recreation Area (WV)
Injured Boaters Evacuated During Gauley Fest Weekend

Rangers responded to a flurry of injured whitewater boaters requesting evacuation from the Gauley River last Saturday morning.

At the time, a number of rangers were already committed to handling the large volume of boater traffic that was headed into the Tailwaters parking area and boat launch. Within a span of about ten minutes, rangers were advised of three injured boaters needing attention.

Off-duty ranger Stan Wilson responded from his nearby residence and coordinated the evacuation of two boaters from the confluence of the Gauley and Meadow Rivers along with members of the Ansted VFD and a local ambulance service.

Both boaters were commercial rafting company customers. One was suffering from a knee injury believed to be a dislocation, and the other was suffering from a probable broken femur. Both injuries were stabilized on site. Wilson then used the parks UTV to transport them to waiting ambulances which took them to local hospitals. A third boater with a minor injury walked out without NPS assistance.

Gauley River rafting season visitation peaked on Saturday, September 20th, during the Gauley Fest weekend, an American Whitewater-sponsored paddling festival believed to be the largest such festival in the world. There are three weekends left in the season, which ends October 19th.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI)
Rangers Respond To Diving Emergency

On September 18th, the Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, received a call for assistance from the research vessel David Boyd, which was inspecting a newly-discovered shipwreck in Lake Superior. The captain declared a SCUBA emergency and requested medical assistance for a 64-year-old diver who had ascended too quickly from a 220-foot-deep dive.

The nearest Coast Guard vessel was five hours away, so assistance was sought from rangers in Grand Marais, Michigan.  Rangers Shaun Hughes and Matt Davis responded in the park boat along with members of the Burt Township ambulance corps and the local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

After battling waves up to six feet high, rangers made contact with the David Boyd approximately eight miles offshore of Grand Marais.  Park and local EMTs boarded the research vessel and found the diver to be suffering from probable decompression sickness – he was weak and lethargic and unable to move or bear weight on his legs.

EMTs continued treatment as the ailing diver was transported to a waiting Valley Med Flight helicopter at the Grand Marais harbor.  He was then transported to a hyperbaric chamber in Marquette, Michigan, where he is still undergoing treatment.  Other assisting agencies included the Alger County Sheriff’s office, Burt Township Fire Department and USCG Air Station Traverse City.

Missing kayaker found safe – http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/wakefield-kayaker-safe-after-massive-search

Father drowns during rescue attempt of son – http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/father-drowns-attempting-to-rescue-son-1.1755513#.VCxTIfnIL58

Search underway for missing boater –  http://mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2014/9/28/missing_boater_edgew.html

Divers rescued – http://www.wptv.com/news/region-s-palm-beach-county/boynton-beach/3-divers-rescued-by-coast-guard-off-boynton-inlet

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Ozark National Scenic Riverways (MO)
Rangers Respond To Multiple Incidents

Park staff were involved in several incident responses over a three-day period last week, including a technical rescue coordinated by the park’s SAR Team (Ozark NSR Hellbenders) and a boating accident resulting in a fatality.

Early on the afternoon of September 17th, rangers were notified of the need for a possible rescue in the Blair’s Creek area for a 22-year-old man who’d fallen from a cliff. Knowing this area was extremely remote and hard to access, rangers responded with technical rescue equipment.  They attempted to gain additional information while en route to determine if this incident was inside the park, but were only able to determine that the victim was unconscious and located about “100 feet up the hill.”  Lack of a specific location and deteriorating weather conditions due to localized heavy rain indicated multiple possibilities for access and extrication of the victim.  Additional rangers with rescue boats, ATVs, and four wheel drive vehicles were dispatched to the area.

Rangers Chris Figge and Nick Money first arrived on scene and determined the incident was on private property about a quarter mile from the park’s boundary.  The injured man was unconscious and non-responsive. Local first responders and rangers were able to reach him by walking in. Due to the muddy conditions and the treacherous terrain, a decision was made to lower him to the ground (approximately 50 feet below), which could be accessed by vehicles. Responders packaged and lowered him to Reynolds County paramedics, who took over patient care. The man remains hospitalized.

At the time of the incident, a film crew from Animal Planet was on site filming for an upcoming reality TV show called “Emerald Earth” which features “Homesteaders.”  They were filming the residents in a privately owned cave.  The victim was climbing the bluff outside the cave when he fell approximately 50 feet. Figge was IC for the incident.

Just after 11 p.m. on September 20th, rangers were notified of a boating accident that had resulted in a drowning of a 74-year-old local man. An off-duty state trooper who was on scene reported that a boat had capsized after hitting a log while gigging (fishing) and that four people were in the water.

Other giggers and campers attempted to reach the scene, but access was difficult. Twenty minutes passed before they were able to rescue three of the four from the cold waters of the Current River. The fourth person was located on the bottom of the river in a deep hole at the base of a root wad.

Several attempts were made to recover the victim, but were not successful due to the depth of the water. The first arriving ranger was advised that the victim had been recovered and was being transported by boat a short distance to the Pin Oak Campground. The investigation remains open and is being conducted in cooperation with the Missouri Highway Patrol. Lindel Gregory was the incident commander.

Search continues for missing bowhunter – http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/09/columbia_county_authorities_co.html

Vehicles – 

Everglades National Park (FL)
Pilot Makes Emergency Landing In Shark Valley

During the morning of August 9th, the pilot of a small airplane had to make an emergency landing on the Shark Valley Tram Road due to a possible engine failure.

Three men from the ages of 25 to 30 on board. The men, each of whom had a private airline license, were practicing for their commercial license by doing several maneuvers. They were heading back to the Tamiami Airport when the plane lost power over the Everglades.

The pilot said that he had visited Shark Valley about a month earlier and remembered the paved road there. He was attempting to land on the popular West Road, but saw visitors walking and biking there so maneuvered the aircraft to the relatively unpopulated East Road. He was able to make the emergency landing by briefly touching the plane down on the road before it went off into the Everglades sawgrass.

Everglades rangers and Miami-Dade County and Miccosukee units all responded. There were no injuries.

The plane was removed without complications following a NEPA review to determine the safest method to prevent damage to the natural and cultural resources in the area.

Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
Search In Progress For Missing Woman

On Monday, September 8th, Nola Taylor, 84, left the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, en route to her quilting class at the Yucca Valley Community Center. She never arrived there.

Taylor’s vehicle was discovered by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, September 12th, after her son reported her missing. The car appeared to have become disabled while turning around on a life estate private road in the park.

The sheriff’s department started an immediate search of the area using patrol personnel, aircraft, bloodhounds, and their own search and rescue teams. They did not realize at the time that this was an obscure portion of the park, but upon notification began cooperative efforts with park staff.

Rangers and volunteers from the park’s SAR team, JOSAR, are coordinating search activities with the sheriff’s department on both sides of the park boundary. Taylor has still not been located.

Dozens of vehicles stuck at event – http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58461543-78/county-tooele-mud-stuck.html.csp

Road collapses, swiftwater recue follows –  http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/09/28/swiftwater-team-rescues-italian-couple-from-river-after-road-collapse/

Injured ATV rider rescued – http://www.lakecountrycalendar.com/news/277463841.html