Tag Archives: lost

Survival Weekly – 9/8/14…


Featured –

Because deer season is right around the corner – http://wthitv.com/2014/08/28/conservation-officers-find-man-almost-24-hours-after-tree-stand-accident/

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Bear chases bow hunter up tree and bites his leg – http://www.wsoctv.com/ap/ap/strange/bear-chases-bow-hunter-up-tree-bites-his-leg/nhGzp/?ecmp=wsoctv_social_facebook_2014_sfp

Body of boy recovered from fishing accident –  http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/09/01/reports-crews-searching-great-miami-for-boy/14935449/

Father drowns on fishing trip – http://www.toledoblade.com/Police-Fire/2014/09/07/Man-attempting-rescue-missing.html

Hiking – 

Yosemite National Park (CA)
Visitors Evacuated By Helicopter Due To Fire

A wildfire that started early yesterday afternoon east of Half Dome quickly grew to 700 acres and forced the helicopter evacuation of about 100 hikers from the top of Half Dome, Little Yosemite Valley and surrounding trails.  

There were no reported injuries or structures affected by the wildfire.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Throughout the afternoon, seven helicopters, an airplane, and ground crews worked to extinguish the fire. The area, which is at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, features rugged terrain.  Ground access requires a several mile hike to the area affected by the fire. 

Yosemite National Park firefighters are working with fire crews from Cal Fire, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Mariposa County Fire, California Highway Patrol, and U.S. Forest Service.  There are over 100 firefighters dedicated to the fire, with more resources en route. 

Yosemite National Park remains open and all facilities within Yosemite Valley.  Trails near the Half Dome area, the Little Yosemite Valley area (a backcountry camping area near Half Dome), Merced Lake and Sunrise High Sierra Camps, Clouds Rest, and Echo Valley remain closed due to fire activity.  All roads leading into Yosemite remain open as well. 

Visitors are urged to check the park’s website to get updated information in the smoke impacts to Yosemite National Park.  Updated information can be found at www.nps.gov/yose

Olympic National Park (WA)
Search Underway For Missing Backpacker

A search was begun late Saturday for Kelly Hall, a 64-year old Bainbridge Island man who was two days overdue from an intended six-day, 39-mile hike in the northeast corner of of the park. 

Hall began his hike on Saturday, August 30th, setting out from the Obstruction Point Trailhead near Hurricane Ridge.  Family members expected to meet him at the USFS Slab Camp Trailhead last Thursday afternoon.  He was reported overdue on Thursday evening.

Hall’s planned itinerary was to hike through Grand Valley to Grand Pass, then continue over Cameron Pass, pass through Dose Meadows to Gray Wolf Pass, and follow the Gray Wolf Trail into the Buckhorn Wilderness in Olympic National Forest. 

Hall is described as being 6’5” tall and weighing 220 pounds. He’s carrying a blue backpack and wearing a blue Mountain Hardware stocking cap. He’s believed to be carrying a blue-gray tent and to have orange flip flops and a fishing pole tied to his pack. Anyone who’s seen him or knows something about his possible whereabouts is asked to call the park at at 360-565-3120.

As of late yesterday, there were 16 searchers in the field, including National Park Service employees and volunteers, plus volunteers from Olympic Mountain Rescue, Clallam County Search and Rescue, and German Shepherd Search Dogs. 

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve (AK)
Four Hikers Rescued From Copper Mountain

On the evening of Sunday, August 31st, four hikers were rescued from Copper Mountain in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.  Three of the hikers were off-duty Lake Clark employees.

The National Park Service’s Alaska Region Communication Center received a distress call from a park radio around 7:30 p.m., reporting that a seasonal maintenance employee in the group had sustained a life-threatening injury in a fall.  Members of the party provided first aid, but they were unable to move him due to  unstable terrain.

National Park Service personnel and Alaska state troopers in Port Alsworth worked with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center to rescue the hikers. The Air National Guard responded with an HC-130 aircraft and an HH-60 helicopter with pararescue jumpers. 

During the hoisting operation, another seasonal maintenance employee for Lake Clark, who was on furlough from the Grand Canyon, sustained a significant head injury as a result of falling rock debris.  

All four hikers were brought aboard the helicopter and flown to Anchorage.  The two injured men are currently receiving treatment at Providence Alaska Medical Center.  


Injured hiker rescued – http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/09/rescue-underway-for-injured-hiker-near-mount-pugh/

Missing couple rescued – http://www.kpax.com/news/missing-couple-in-bighorn-national-forest-found-alive/


Climbing – 

Body of climber missing for weeks – http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/body-of-missing-blodgett-canyon-hiker-located/27927548

Climbers rescued – http://www.cfjctv.com/story.php?id=21045

More climbers rescued – http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Rock-climbers-rescued-in-Wolfe-County-after-rain-floods-creek-274275681.html

Watersports – 

Search for missing swimmer – http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/rescue-crews-continue-search-for-missing-msu-student/27830804

Another search for a missing swimmer – http://www.havasunews.com/news/search-operation-on-lake-havasu-lasts-much-of-labor-day/article_c6939a0a-3257-11e4-acda-0019bb2963f4.html

Kayaker rescued from Lake Michigan –  http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2014/09/kayak_trip_across_lake_michiga_2.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+michigan-news+(Michigan+News%2C+Updates%2C+Photos%2C+Videos+and+Opinions+-+MLive.com)

Missing boater found – http://abc7chicago.com/news/man-missing-for-20-hours-on-lake-michigan-rescued/297441/

Alcohol and boating lead to body recovery – http://www.thewesternnews.com/news/man-s-body-recovered-from-middle-thompson-lake/article_b57f7eec-354e-11e4-b015-0019bb2963f4.html

Foot entrapmment of 9 year old boy – http://magicvalley.com/news/local/breaking-news-update-boy-rescued-from-pillar-falls-after-accident/article_2de6604e-361c-11e4-a359-001a4bcf887a.html

Vehicles – 

Stranded dirt biker rescued – http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/search-and-rescue-crews-looking-for-missing-dirt-b/25290/Yrnj2l3xrEKDKL3EZC3gwA

Horseback rider rescued – http://www.svherald.com/content/derek-jordan/2014/09/02/388731

Injured mountain biker rescued – http://www.kbzk.com/news/mountain-biker-rescued-near-triple-tree/

Small plane crash due to loss of cabin pressure –  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/unresponsive-u-s-plane-crashes-off-jamaica-official-says/

Survival Weekly – 8/4/14…


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

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

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

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


Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)

Lightning Strike Injures Park Visitor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The incident is under investigation.

Lake Mead NRA – NV, AZ

Rangers Rescue Kayaker From Lake Mohave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glacier National Park
Hiker Shoots Bear On Park Trail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Survival Weekly – 7/28/14…


Miscommunication leads to search – http://www.odt.co.nz/news/queenstown-lakes/310274/miscommunication-leads-search-operation

SAR team member suffers medical emergency during mission –   http://www.kptv.com/story/26091507/search-and-rescue-team-member-suffers-emergency-during-mission

Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve (AK)
Backpacker Rescued From Kobuk River Headwaters

During the early hours of July 21st, rangers were notified that Andrew Corey of Anchorage, Alaska, had activated his inReach device (a satellite emergency notification device) and that he was seeking rescue.

The inReach device indicated that Corey was located on the headwaters of the Kobuk River. Text communications from Corey indicated that he had flipped his pack raft, that he was hypothermic, and that he was requesting assistance.

Rangers coordinated rescue efforts with Brooks Range Aviation and Kingdom Air Corps personnel in a hasty search effort and ultimately worked with the Alaska National Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center in Corey’s recovery.

Corey planned to travel from the Dalton Highway to Kotzebue, Alaska, on a solo backpacking and pack raft trip and had been in the backcountry for about 29 days. Travel conditions caused Corey to cut short his initial planned trip and he was headed to Walker Lake for an early pickup when he flipped his pack raft in the Kobuk River.

Weather conditions and Corey’s location prevented the first attempts at rescue and delayed his recovery until about 2 p.m. He was found to be in good condition on a gravel bar. He was flown to Bettles, where he declined medical attention.

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Major Search For Missing Hiker Unsuccessful

On Saturday, July 12th, Edwin Birch, 64, of Tacoma, Washington, set out with his son to hike a 19-mile stretch of the Wonderland Trail. 

Birch dropped his son off at White River and then drove to the Box Canyon trailhead. The plan was for the son to hike south to Box Canyon, with Birch hiking north to White River, crossing paths on the trail midway.  Around 3:30 p.m., father and son intersected on the trail at an elevation of approximately 6,600 feet near Indian Bar, then continued on their respective ways. 

After arriving at the Box Canyon trailhead around midnight, the son retrieved the car and drove to pick up his father at White River. When his father did not appear, he notified park rangers at the White River Campground at 1:30 a.m. 

Formal search operations were begun on Sunday morning and continued for six days. Ground operations included 106 searchers – NPS rangers, volunteers from Bellingham, Central Washington, Everett, Inland, Olympic, Portland, Seattle, Skagit, and Tacoma Mountain Rescue, and rescue dog teams from Everett, Kittitas, and Lewis Mountain Rescue.

Participating in air operations were Northwest Helicopters, CH-47 Chinook aircraft from the 214th US Air Reserve out of Joint Base Lewis McChord, and a FLIR/NVG equipped Blackhawk from CBP’s Marine Division in Bellingham.

The search was concentrated in the drainages surrounding the point last seen and the intended travel route. No signs or clues of Birch’s whereabouts were discovered.  On July 19th, the search operation transitioned to a continuous limited search.  All searchers are out of the field.  The park will continue to look for Birch, with rangers checking the area and interviewing hikers as part of their normal patrol duties.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Hiker Killed In Fall Near Inspiration Point

The body of an overdue hiker was discovered on Tuesday afternoon near the mouth of Cascade Canyon.

Will Cornyn, 36, of San Francisco, California, did not have a pulse when one of several search teams found him lying below a steep cliff band near Inspiration Point. He was pronounced dead at the scene by park EMTs in consultation with the park’s medical director.

Cornyn headed out late on Sunday afternoon from the southeast shore of Jenny Lake with the goal of hiking to Lake Solitude in the North Fork of Cascade Canyon. He did not return to his campsite at Jenny Lake Sunday evening and was reported overdue by his girlfriend at noon on Monday. Cornyn had not planned on an overnight stay in the backcountry and did not carry equipment necessary for spending a night in the mountains.

 A hasty search was conducted on Monday afternoon by rangers who were on routine patrol and additional rangers were called into service. Two rangers also flew in the Teton Interagency contract helicopter to conduct an aerial search until darkness prevented further efforts. The aerial search was temporarily delayed by intense thunderstorms that passed across the Teton Range and battered the peaks with heavy rain, strong winds and lightning strikes.

Seventy-four people gathered early Tuesday morning to begin a full-scale search for the missing hiker.  Park employees and Teton Interagency fire personnel—plus a Teton Interagency helitak crew, a Teton Interagency contract helicopter, four search dog teams from Wyoming K-9 and JH Search Dogs, and several park volunteers—thoroughly searched  numerous backcountry locations in Cascade Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon and surrounding areas in a coordinated effort to locate the overdue hiker.

After nearly six hours, one of 19 assigned search parties discovered Cornyn. His body was extricated from Inspiration Point via a helicopter long-line and turned over to the Teton County coroner.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Seriously Injured Hiker Evacuated From Garnet Canyon

A backcountry hiker received a serious injury to her leg as she jumped from a rock while descending the Cache Couloir above the Platforms in Garnet Canyon last Sunday afternoon. 

After jumping from the rock, the woman was unable to move her leg. A member of her hiking party of five dialed 911 to report the need for assistance. Rangers launched a short-haul rescue operation to extricate the 23-year-old woman with assistance from a Teton Interagency contract helicopter.

The helicopter flew three rangers into Garnet Canyon on a reconnaissance flight to pinpoint the woman’s location. They soon spotted her and the pilot landed in Garnet Meadows and dropped off the rangers. They were joined by two other rangers who hiked in, arriving around 8 p.m.

A decision was made to short-haul the woman via an aerial evacuation suit, with an attending rescuer, to the Jenny Lake rescue cache at Lupine Meadows. The ship landed there a half hour later and the woman was taken to St. John’s Medical Center for further care.

The woman and members of her party told rangers that they did not have specific hiking plans for the day. Because they were unsure of their exact location when the accident occurred, rescuers had to use ‘pings’ from three separate cell phone calls to obtain GPS coordinates. Only the third call provided accurate coordinates.

Lake Mead NRA – AZ, NV
Two Rescued, Two Missing In Separate Same-Day Incidents

On July 20th, rangers rescued two visitors and searched for two swimmers who are still missing.

Around 11 a.m., dispatch received a 911 call reporting that a woman was having difficulty breathing while hiking in White Rock Canyon. Rangers located her and hiked her out to safety. She refused medical assistance.

Shortly thereafter, a visitor notified a ranger that a person was missing at Lake Mohave south of Willow Beach. Later reports indicated that a man had jumped off a boat to go swimming and was last seen going underwater. Rangers are continuing to search the area with the assistance of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search and Rescue Dive Team.

Around 2 p.m., a 911 call came in reporting a near drowning at Ski Cove on Lake Mohave. Rangers and medics responded. The man was flown to a Las Vegas hospital by Mercy Air, where he is expected to recover.

Twenty minutes later, dispatch received another 911 call, this one reporting that a man went missing while swimming near Boulder Islands on Lake Mead. Rangers, Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens and members of the Metro Search and Rescue Dive Team are searching for him.

All incidents are under investigation. In the water-related cases, none of the victims was wearing a life jacket. Winds were gusting between 20-30 miles per hour throughout the afternoon.

Buffalo National Scenic River (AR)
Seriously Injured Hiker Evacuated From Backcountry

On the evening of July 14th, an 18-year-old Jonesboro, Arkansas, man slipped and fell while attempting to cross a rock gap at the top of Eden Falls off the  Lost Valley trail. He took an initial fall of 10 feet before he was stopped momentarily by a ledge, but the wet conditions caused him to once again slip and fall another 15 to 20 feet.  

His hiking companion lost sight of him after the final fall but was assisted in reaching him by two University of Arkansas students who were also hiking in the area. Due to lack of cellular coverage, other hikers traveled out from Lost Valley to call Buffalo National River dispatch.  

Once the page was received, Buffalo River Search and Rescue (BUFFSAR) team members were mobilized, with the three young men assisting team members with the recovery. BUFFSAR volunteer and EMT Chad Wilt was the first rescuer to  arrive at Lost Valley and was led to the victim’s location in a slot canyon by the two assisting hikers. Although badly injured, the victim was conscious, but couldn’t remember the events of the fall.

Those assisting with the search and rescue efforts were Air Evac, Mennonite Services, North Arkansas Medical Regional Medical Center EMS, Carroll County, Mount Sherman Volunteer Fire Department, and Ponca Volunteer Fire Department.

The teams performed a high angle rescue to bring the victim back along the trail that leads to the top of Eden Falls. He was then evacuated – partly by litter team and partly by all-terrain vehicle and litter trailer – to the trailhead. From there he was transported by ambulance to Compton and then air evacuated to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.  

At the time of the report late last week, he was in intensive care but in stable condition. The incident was managed under a unified command system between the National Park Service and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
Girl Injured By Boat Propeller

A 12-year-old girl visiting from Israel was struck by a boat propeller and seriously injured on July 23rd.

The injury occurred when she was ejected from the back of a moving powerboat while holding onto an inflatable inner tube. She sustained a severe lower leg injury when hit by the boat’s propeller.Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Classic Aviation responded to the Wahweap main launch ramp. The girl was flown from there to Flagstaff Medical Center.

The incident is currently under investigation by the sheriff’s office.    

Injured climber rescued –

Search called off for missing hiker –

Family of four located during SAR – http://www.ksl.com/?sid=30887831&nid=968

Stranded and injured kayakers rescued –   http://www.taosnews.com/news/article_baaec146-1124-11e4-8724-0019bb2963f4.html

Injured boy rescued from mountain http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_12776.shtml

Stranded hiker spends night out and rescued the following day –   http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_12809.shtml

Stranded climbers rescued – http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2014/07/22/north-maroon-peak-rescue/12982875/



Survival Weekly – 7/21/14…


Sometimes the difference between a half-day day ordeal and a six day nightmare is a a couple ounces or a hundred bucks. Itineraries (free), signal mirrors ($10), flashlight ($10), whistles ($5), PLB’s ($100 w/rebate), orange garbage bags ($1), good clothing ($100), etc. do not fit into the “romantic” notions of wilderness survival.

Well this week, Survival Weekly is going to take a dump on romance with a first person account of a six day ordeal. Thanks to Mike for sending me the link.

Injured hiker rescued. PLB and flashlight used for signalling 

“The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was notified of Smilenski’s potential situation via a Personal Locator Beacon, which is similar to locating devices used on aircrafts, but are for personal use. Smilenski was located by the helicopter just after 10 p.m. as he was flashing some kind of light to signal rescuers.”


Rescued hiker tells story of six day ordeal (with video) – 

“On Thursday, he saw helicopters — but they didn’t see him. Two flew over him several times, he said. “It was kind of wrenching.”

“In the future, Hein plans to carry a reflective mirror, which can be used to signal rescue aircraft; a satellite-linked device, which can be used to alert rescuers about a location; and more medical supplies and gear.”


Body of missing hiker found – http://icelandreview.com/news/2014/07/16/body-woman-found-canyon

Rafters rescued http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/five-safe-after-two-water-incidents/article_9343d99a-0c77-11e4-9e36-001a4bcf887a.html

SAR launched for missing hiker – http://globalnews.ca/news/1454256/search-and-rescue-crews-looking-for-comox-valley-hiker-missing-since-july-8/

Paraglider rescued from open water (with video of operation) –  http://www.breakingnews.ie/discover/gbmhgbmhqloj/

Hiker rescued from quicksand – http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865606926/Grand-County-search-crews-rescue-woman-from-quicksand-recover-hikers-body.html

Arches National Park (UT)
High Temperatures Cause Series Of Heat-Related Emergencies

The park experienced a series of heat-related medical emergencies involving seven visitors and one employee within a period of just over 24 hours last weekend. High temperatures both days were in the 100 to 104 degree range.  Of this total, three were taken by ambulance to a local hospital and a fourth was flown to another hospital in Grand Junction. The remaining four were treated and released.

Just before 2 p.m., on Saturday, July 12th, rangers received a report of a woman having a  heart attack on the Delicate Arch viewpoint trail. The first rangers to arrive were unable to find her on the trail, but were soon flagged down by the occupants of a vehicle near Wolfe Ranch. Two men inside who’d just come off that trail were suffering from heat exhaustion. They were treated by park personnel and Grand County EMS.

Around 8:30 that evening, a report was received of an unconscious man near Delicate Arch. Park, Grand County SAR and Grand County EMS personnel responded, hiking a mile and a half up from the trailhead. The man was treated for heart issues arising from heat stroke throughout the rescue and litter carryout. He was taken to Moab Regional Hospital

EMS incidents resumed the following afternoon when rangers received a report of an unconscious man near Delicate Arch. Park and Grand County personnel again responded, treated the man on scene, and littered him out to the trailhead. He refused further treatment and transportation to the hospital.

While the above rescue was in progress, an interpretive ranger preparing for a guided hike reported coming up an unconscious man in the Fiery Furnace parking lot. The responding ranger found an incoherent man with tingling in his arms and legs. A woman in the car was suffering from severe headache and cramping. Both were taken by ambulance to the hospital.

A third EMS emergency was reported while the above incidents were underway. Around 4:30 p.m., the same ranger who’d called in the above incident was leading the guided hike when a visitor collapsed.  The ranger reported that the woman was unconscious and that she could not obtain a radial pulse. EMS personnel who were still in the Fiery Furnace parking lot headed down the trail. The woman was assessed and found to be suffering from heat stroke. She was flown by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.

Finally, at the conclusion of the Delicate Arch carryout, one member of the park SAR team was treated on scene for heat exhaustion. 

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (GA)
Rangers Save Three From Drowning In River


Rangers Paul Forward and Chris Calkins and Supervisory Ranger Sean Perchalski were patrolling Diving Rock, one of the park’s busiest areas, on the evening of July 6th when Forward spotted a man in the middle of the river who appeared to be in distress.

The man went under several times as two other visitors struggled to keep him afloat. He then began to pull both of them underwater.

Forward threw them a lifeguard rescue tube and a throw bag, but the people in the water couldn’t reach them. Perchalski then threw a life vest and a second throw bag, which they were able to grab and use to stay afloat. The rangers then pulled all three to shore.

The 22-year-old man who’d originally gotten into trouble was checked out by EMS, but declined further treatment at a medical facility. The other two were extremely fatigued but otherwise okay.

This area has been the scene of several drownings in the past few years by people who’ve tried unsuccessfully to swim across the river. The most recent was on June 9th, when a 24-year-old man drowned while swimming across the river at the same exact location. The river is approximately 175 feet across at this point.

Earlier that day, rangers had discussed what they would do if this exact situation were to occur.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
One Climber Killed, Another Injured In Separate Incidents

A climbing accident on the 13,770-foot Grand Teton resulted in the death of one member of a guided climbing party on Monday, July 14th. 

Mary Bilyeu, 43, of Edmond, Oklahoma, was ascending to the Upper Saddle of the Grand Teton (elevation 13,160 feet) with her climbing partner and a guide from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides when she fell while negotiating a short section above the Exum Gully around 8:30 a.m.

Rangers were notified of the accident at 8:40 a.m. and a rescue response was quickly begun. Two rangers on routine patrol on the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton (11,600 feet) climbed to the accident site to begin emergency medical care and prepare the injured climber for a helicopter evacuation.

Bilyeu was unresponsive when park rangers arrived on scene and could not be revived. She was pronounced dead in consultation with the park’s medical director and rangers on scene. Other Jackson Hole Mountain Guides staff responded to the area and escorted Bilyeu’s climbing partner to the Corbet High Camp near the Lower Saddle, and later escorted her to Lupine Meadows trailhead on the valley floor.

The circumstances leading to this climbing accident are under investigation by Grand Teton National Park rangers and no further details are available at this time.

Rangers began to coordinate a body recovery on the Grand Teton when Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a second emergency call at approximately 11 a.m. from a hiking party near Paintbrush Divide. 

Silas Peterson of Santa Fe, New Mexico fell while descending Paintbrush Divide into Paintbrush Canyon and sustained multiple injuries.  Although Peterson was using an ice axe, he slid down a steep snow-covered slope, could not self-arrest, and fell an additional 150 feet through steep loose rock.

Peterson’s hiking partner called 911 to report the accident. Another party ascending from Paintbrush Canyon witnessed the event and also called 911. That party then hiked to Peterson to provide first aid until rescuers arrived.

A Teton Interagency contract helicopter readied to assist with the rescue operations on the Grand Teton was diverted to transport rescuers to Paintbrush Divide. Two rangers were short-hauled to the Divide from the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache, and they descended snow and rock to reach Peterson at 11:45 a.m.  A rescue litter was also flown to the scene.

Peterson was provided emergency medical care and evacuated from Paintbrush Divide via short-haul with a ranger attending. Upon arriving at Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache, Peterson was treated by the park’s medical director before being transported at approximately 1:15 p.m. via an Air Idaho life-flight helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho for further medical care. Peterson and his partner were on the final day of a six day Teton Crest Trail backpacking trip.

Both rescue operations were affected by the forecast and subsequent arrival of severe thunderstorms that pummeled the Teton Range and Jackson Hole valley with lightning strikes and several waves of rain, hail and high winds.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Woman Dies In Snake River Rafting Accident

A rafting accident on the Snake River resulted in the death of one member of a private boating party on the evening of Sunday, July 13th.

A 63-year-old Jackson woman was riding in a rubber raft just north of the Moose Landing with five other people, including her husband, when the raft hit a mid-stream obstruction, overturned, and spilled all six rafters into the river. 

After the raft flipped, five of the boaters were able to reach a gravel bar in the middle of the river. A passing private raft picked up the stranded boaters and floated them the remaining three-quarters of a mile to the Moose Landing, where they were met by park rangers and emergency medical providers. The woman, though, was caught in the fast-moving current and swept downstream. 

Bystanders near the Dornan’s landing on the east bank of the Snake River saw something floating in the water and determined that it was a person. They quickly reached the riverbank, pulled the woman out of the water, and started CPR in an attempt to revive her. Paramedics took over and continued for 45 minutes, but couldn’t revive her.

Numerous rangers and EMTs responded to both the Moose Landing and Dornan’s to rescue the boaters and provide medical care. The circumstances leading to this rafting accident are under investigation. 

Survival Weekly – 6/22/14


Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Woman Airlifted From Chasm Lake Area

On Sunday afternoon, June 15th, park staff received a 911 call reporting that a woman, hometown unknown, had taken a reported 65-foot tumbling, sliding fall on the snowfield between Chasm Junction and Chasm Lake. 

Members of the park’s search and rescue team reached the 56-year-old woman early that evening, just two hours after the incident was initially reported.  She had numerous injuries. Team members conducted a technical rescue and raised her in a litter back to the snow covered trail.  She was carried in a litter to Chasm Meadows and was flown by Flight For Life® Colorado to a hospital in Lakewood, Colorado.

Search continues for missing firefighter – http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_26007639/search-missing-arcadia-firefighter-mike-herdman-enters-fifth

Outdoor writer missing in Mt. Rainier – http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023892720_hikermissingxml.html

A slip and fall into river ends in a body recovery – http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/pemberton-search-and-rescue-recovers-body-from-green-river/Content?oid=2560770

Injured climber rescued – http://www.kxlf.com/news/woman-injured-in-climbing-accident-rescue-team-training-nearby-makes-for-quick-assist/

Woman on raft blown out to sea – http://www.lfpress.com/2014/06/16/women-rescued-from-adrift-raft

Injured hiker and stranded rafters rescued – http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/article_bde2c80a-f72d-11e3-b1a8-0017a43b2370.html

Swimmer missing on Kern river – http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/kcso-search-and-rescue-volunteers-look-for-missing-man-in-kern-river

Body of Mt. Whitney hiker found – http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.sierrawave.net/30707/remains-of-hiker-found/

SAR launched for overdue hiker – http://q13fox.com/2014/06/20/rescue-teams-search-for-overdue-hiker/#axzz35PtdHsQ4

Rescue team recover body of logger killed by tree – http://webcache.googleusercontent.com,/search?q=cache:http://www.kval.com/news/local/Tree-hits-and-kills-logger-264001471.html

Survival Weekly – 6/16/14

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Colorado Man Dies On Longs Peak

The body of Matthew D. Burklow, 25, of Fort Collins, Colorado was recovered yesterday afternoon, June 12th, from Longs Peak via helicopter.  

Rangers were notified on Tuesday, June 10th, that Burklow was overdue from the Longs Peak area. He had left Fort Collins at approximately 2 am on Monday morning and was expected at work that day by 4 pm.  After learning that he likely planned to travel along the Keyhole Route, rangers initiated a search in that area. 

Rangers located Burklow’s body that afternoon approximately 1,000 feet below the Keyhole Route down the Trough. Weather conditions prevented immediate recovery efforts.

Yesterday Burklow’s body was flown to the helipad at Upper Beaver Meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park and was transferred to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office.  

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Yellowstone Visitor Killed By Falling Tree

A 36-year old man from Taiwan was killed by a falling tree on Monday afternoon June 9th. He was part of a small family group hiking the Fairy Falls trail, which is north of the Old Faithful area.  

The man had left the trail and ascended a nearby tree-covered slope in an apparent attempt to get a better view of Grand Prismatic Spring, when a lodgepole pine tree fell and struck him in the head. Visitors who witnessed the incident made their way back to the trailhead, about a half mile from the accident. They encountered two park maintenance employees working in the area, who relayed the information to Yellowstone law enforcement rangers via radio.

Rangers/Paramedics immediately responded and found that the man had sustained a serious head wound and that he was bleeding profusely.  A life flight was ordered up and was en route while rangers provided ALS interventions, placed the man into a wheeled litter, then moved him to the life flight landing zone.  Just as the helicopter landed, his condition deteriorated, and attempts to revive him failed.  He was declared dead at the scene.

Rangers and a NPS Coroner are continuing to investigate. Responders reported windy weather conditions in the area at the time. The fallen tree had been a standing, dead lodgepole, fire-killed during the park’s 1988 fires. Ranger/Paramedic Dennis Lojko was the incident commander.

Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Member Of Rafting Trip Dies On River

On the evening of Wednesday, June 3rd, park dispatch received a satellite phone call reporting that a 54-year-old woman on a river trip was slipping in and out of conscious, apparently due to an allergic reaction. She eventually became unconscious, and members of the group began administering CPR.

Arizona Department of Public Safety personnel responded by helicopter and provided life support, but efforts to revive the woman proved unsuccessful.

The group was on the fifth day of a seven-day commercial river trip. An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County medical examiner.

Yosemite National Park (CA)
Climber Knocked Unconscious On El Capitan Climb – “Manimal” to the rescue

On Friday afternoon, May 30th, the Yosemite Emergency Communications Center received a call from a climber on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.  The caller reported that he saw a climber fall who was near them on the same route and then heard calls for help. 

The caller was connected with Supervisory Park Ranger Chris Bellino.  Bellino asked the climbing party to ascend to the spot where help was requested, in order to assess the situation and determine whether a rescue was necessary.  Upon their arrival, Ranger Bellino was able to talk with the injured man’s partner. 

The injured climber, a 60-year-old man from New York, was approximately 1,500 feet up on El Capitan on The Nose, when he was attempting to execute a pendulum on a feature known as the King Swing.  However, the attempt was made above the location where the pendulum typically occurs.  Due to this, the climber overshot the swing and hit his head on a granite feature on the route.  The man hit his head hard enough that he lost consciousness shortly after the impact.  His partner was able to lower him to a feature known as Texas Flake, approximately 200 feet below the point of impact. 

A rescue operation was launched based on this assessment, and the park’s contract helicopter was dispatched to Yosemite Valley. Yosemite District Ranger Jack Hoeflich and Yosemite National Park Ranger Aaron Smith were immediately flown via short-haul near the location of the injured climber.  In order to successfully insert the rescuers onto the wall, Hoeflich threw a rope to the reporting party so they could pull him into the wall and secure himself on the ledge.  Shortly thereafter, Smith was inserted into the same location. 

Immediately upon arrival Hoeflich and Smith provided medical attention to the injured climber.  Due to the lateness in the evening, the park helicopter flew a team of eight search and rescue personnel to the top of El Capitan to assist with the rescue, as it was becoming too dark to fly.  Rangers determined the patient to be stable enough to spend the night on the ledge, with continued extrication the following morning.  The patient, along with his climbing partner, were secured onsite and spent the night 1,500 feet up from the Valley floor on El Capitan with rangers Hoeflich and Smith.  

The next morning, Saturday, May 31st, Yosemite Park Ranger Ed Visnovske was lowered from the summit of El Capitan to the climbers’ location, approximately 1,500 feet from the summit.  The injured man, his partner, and their gear were then packaged and lowered another 1,500 feet with Visnovske to Yosemite Valley.  The injured climber was provided additional medical care and transported to a local hospital where he was found to have a fracture in his c-spine.

Rangers Hoeflich and Smith successfully rappelled to Yosemite Valley with the rest of the climbing party’s gear.

Yosemite Supervisory Park Ranger Chris Bellino served as the Incident Commander for this rescue.

Missing hikers rescued http://fox13now.com/2014/06/08/search-and-rescue-crews-respond-to-little-cottonwood-canyon/

Search for missing hiker – http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/eldorado-hills/2014/06/09/vernon-matthews-missing/10247007/

Kayaker blown out to sea – http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1406/S00191/search-and-rescue-incident-in-the-whangarei-harbour.htm

Lost siblings found – http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_6b3543d4-f0ad-11e3-98ca-0017a43b2370.html

Injured hiker rescued – http://fox13now.com/2014/06/10/search-and-rescue-crews-assist-injured-hiker-near-ogden/

Lost Hiker found – http://koin.com/2014/06/10/search-and-rescue-looking-for-missing-hiker-near-wahkeena-falls/

Climber rescued by helicopter at night – http://kdvr.com/2014/06/11/deputies-climber-recovered-during-first-ever-overnight-helicopter-rescue-in-san-miguel-co/

Injured racer rescued – http://www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/news/nanaimo-cyclist-rescued-from-trail-1.1125063

Rafters rescued after overnight stay – http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_11893.shtml

Boy Scouts rescued in Boundary Waters    http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/ca89524d87b64ee4ab547924ce2a43ab/MN–Boundary-Waters-Rescue

Boy rescued after fall – http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_d8651950-f33e-11e3-b513-0017a43b2370.html

Missing 9 year old found – http://sfist.com/2014/06/14/girl_goes_missing_in_marin_park_pro.php

Missing kayaker – http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/25773492/crews-searching-for-missing-kayaker-in-potomac-river

Rafter missing http://www.rappler.com/nation/60604-tourist-lost-rafting-adventure-cdo

Another missing rafter – http://www.saratogian.com/general-news/20140614/rushing-waters-postpone-search-for-missing-woman-on-kayaderosseras-creek

Injured hiker rescued http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865605209/Man-is-injured-in-Saturday-fall-in-Donut-Falls-area.html



Whistlemania IV – Sound Off…


Whistlemania is back!! This week we broke out the sound meter to see how loud our whistlers could get.

Let me first say that measuring decibels is just one more variable to consider and a loud rating on the sound meter may, or may not, correlate with the distance heard on the ground. Nevertheless, decibel ratings are often used as a marketing tactic by whistle manufacturers.

For the testing I used an Extech SL10 Personal Sound Meter, my lungs, and the lungs of Jake, a 9 year old, athletic boy weighing 67 pounds.

Forty five years ago, on this very weekend, a six year old boy went missing in the Smokies and was never seen again. This tragic story and lessons from the huge search effort helped to shape the search and rescue techniques and protocols of today. A whistle is one of the best items to equip your kids with in the woods, so it makes sense to see which whistles work well for them.


The Dennis Martin story: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/jun/28/missing-dennis-martin/

Thanks to my pint size partner, we can also extrapolate the effectiveness of each whistle for an adult with a chest injury or condition preventing the full use of the lungs. Last year, I was routed to respond to a hiker that had been pinned under a tree for a day, after a tornado rolled through the park. http://www.local8now.com/news/headlines/Rescuers-work-to-save-53-year-old-hiker-trapped-by-tree-211582431.html. I never made it there, getting redirected to another emergency, but that scenario could easily crush ribs or restrict your lung capacity. Furthermore, COPD, asthma, and a host of other lung ailments restrict the breathing ability of millions each day, so value may be found for them as well.

I asked Dr. “Hunk” Miller the ins and outs of lung volumes and this is my lay person understanding. If one were to blow on a whistle, you would use both your Tidal Volume (TV) and your Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV), which equals out to be 22 ml/kg.


Jake, weighing in at 30.5 kg, has around 670 ml of potential air to blow his whistle. That would be the equivalent of a 135 pound person with only one lung or with a chest compressed so it cannot fully expand. If you weigh 135 pounds or more, one could assume that a good performing whistle for Jake would function equally as well if you had an injury that restricted your lung volume or a chronic breathing problem.

This is all important if you consider that if you are using your whistle, there is a high chance that your are injured and/or under the effects of adrenaline, potentially affecting your breathing rate and capacity.

Here were the testing parameters:

1. Decibel level measured at the meter. I assumed, and testing supports, that manufacturer’s claims are done at this distance

2. Decibel level at a distance of 4 feet by a 200 pound adult. Notes on how hard or easy to blow each whistle are in parentheses. Resistance seemed to be the determining factor and can been seen in the duration of the whistle blast in seconds. “Hard”, in this context, means that the whistle provides an amount of resistance greater than the other two categories and does not connote difficultly in use.

3. Decibel level at distance of 4 feet by 67 pound boy. Notes on how hard or easy to blow each whistle are in parentheses based upon Jake’s opinion.

I chose 4 feet for tests 2 & 3 because two other field whistle tests were done at this distance and following that standard will allow comparison.



Jetscream Micro –  

  • Meter – 113 dB
  • Adult –  97 dB   (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 95 dB (easy)

Fox 40 Classic – Manufacturer claim of 115 dB

  • Meter – 111 dB
  • Adult – 99 dB  (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 90 dB (easy)

ACME 660 –

  • Meter – 126 dB
  • Adult – 103 dB (medium) 4 seconds
  • Child – 101 dB (medium)

ACME Tornado 635 –

  • Meter – 124 dB
  • Adult – 100  dB (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 102 dB (hard)

Hammerhead – 

  • Meter –  124 dB
  • Adult – 100  dB (medium) 3 seconds
  • Child – 99 dB (hard)

Tin Whistle – 

  • Meter – 129  dB
  • Adult – 103  dB (easy) 4 seconds
  • Child – Fail – fingers were too small to cover chamber openings

Fox 40 Mini – Manufacturer claim of 109 dB

  • Meter  – 116 dB
  • Adult  – 96 dB (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 94 dB (easy)

AMK or SOL or Fox 40 Micro –  Manufacturer claim of 110 dB

  • Meter 119  dB
  • Adult – 93  dB (easy)  3 seconds
  • Child – 82 dB (easy)

ACME Tornado 636 –

  • Meter – 115  dB
  • Adult – 97  dB (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 87 dB (hard)

SOL Slim Rescue Howler –  Manufacturer claim of 100 dB

  • Meter – 123  dB
  • Adult – 105  dB (hard) –  5 seconds
  • Child – 102 dB (hard)

ACR – 

  • Meter – 124  dB
  • Adult – 104  dB (hard) – 5 seconds
  • Child – 106 dB (hard)


Coghlan’s 5 in 1 Survival Aid – 

  • Meter – 125 dB
  • Adult – 105  dB (medium)  3 seconds
  • Child – 102 dB (medium)

Zipper Pull Whistle – 

  • Meter – 105  dB
  • Adult – 90  dB (hard)  5 seconds – lip placement must be perfect
  • Child – 87 dB (hard)

Coghlan’s 4 in 1 Whistle – 

  • Meter – 123  dB
  • Adult – 100  dB – (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 96 dB (hard)

Sternum Strap Whistle – 

  • Meter – 126  dB
  • Adult – 102  dB (medium) 5 seconds
  • Child – 98 dB (hard)

LMF Swedish Firesteel Army 2.0 –  

  • Meter – 112  dB
  • Adult – 93  dB (hard) 3 seconds- lip placement must be perfect
  • Child – 94 dB (hard)


Windstorm – 

  • Meter  – 130  dB
  • Adult – 109  dB (medium) 3 seconds
  • Child – 105 dB (hard)

Hammerhead Mighty – 

  • Meter – 129  dB
  • Adult – 104dB  (medium) 2 seconds
  • Child – 99 dB (hard)

Lifejacket Whistle – 

  • Meter – 119  dB
  • Adult – 98  dB (too easy) 1-2 seconds
  • Child – 84 dB (easy)

FOX 40 Eclipse – Manufacturer claim of 115 dB

  • Meter – 119 dB
  • Adult – 98 dB (too easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 97 dB (medium)

Storm – Manufacturer claim of 130 dB

  • Meter – 130  dB
  • Adult – 112  dB (medium) 3 seconds
  • Child – 102 dB (medium)

Scotty Lifesaver –

  •  Meter  – 112 dB
  • Adult –  91 dB (medium) 2 seconds
  • Child – 89 dB (easy)

ACME Tornado 2000 – 

  • Meter – 118 dB
  • Adult – 98  dB (too easy) – 1-2 seconds
  • Child – 91 dB (medium)

FOX 40 Sonic Blast – Manufacturer claim of 120 dB

  • Meter – 120 dB
  • Adult – 103 dB (too easy) – 1-2 seconds
  • Child – 90 dB (easy)

UST Jetscream – Manufacturer claim of 122 dB

  • Meter – 109 dB
  • Adult – 95 dB (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 93 dB (hard)

Whistles for Life – Manufacturer claim of 120 dB

  • Meter – 121 dB
  • Adult – 103 dB (too easy) – 1-2 seconds
  • Child – 86 dB (too easy)

Promo whistle –  

  • Meter – 109 dB
  • Adult – 95 dB (easy) – 3 seconds
  • Child – 92 dB (easy)

FOX 40 Sharx – Manufacturer claim of 120 dB

  • Meter – 125 dB
  • Adult – 104 dB (too easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 92 dB (medium)

ACME Cyclone 888 – 

  • Meter – 118 dB
  • Adult – 97 dB (easy) 3 seconds
  • Child – 100 dB (hard)

ACME 649 – 

  • Meter – 115 dB
  • Adult – 97 dB (easy) 2 seconds
  • Child – 95 dB (medium)

BigPig Outdoors Ear Ringing, Spit Flying Observations:

1. Most of Jake’s scores were very close to mine, a few higher, and some a bit lower. This suggests that lung volume to achieve a loud whistle blast is not much of a factor. Jake outperformed me on several whistles and in one of the linked studies, the child routinely got higher scores.

2. I am not a fan of the “Too easy” to blow whistles. The largest difference between Jake and my scores were seen with these and a few of the windier “easy” whistles. A little resistance by design or by a pea, allowed a more efficient use of the expelled breath in my opinion.

3. Some whistles require perfect alignment or placement of lips that could prove challenging under stress or while injured. These whistles were also tough for Jake to manipulate, and would therefore be poor choices for little ones.

4. The decibel scale is logarithmic, so my lay person understanding is that a 10 dB gain doubles the loudness. In perceived loudness, the 5 – 10 decibels can make a big difference. Source: http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-levelchange.htm

5. Like I stated earlier, I think decibel ratings are not as important as the distance that a whistle can be heard, which is a factor of loudness, terrain, and frequency.

Stayed tuned as Whistlemania hits the woods and lakes to see how the whistlers perform at distance…


Resources: Adiittional whistle tests based on decibel levels





If you are new to the blog and wondering why anyone would spend such an inordinate amount of time on researching whistles, start here:


then go here:


and then here:



Survival Weekly – 6/8/14


Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Pilot Seriously Injured In Plane Crash In Park

A 54-year old man was injured when his single-engine airplane crashed in the park on Monday morning.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m., several callers reported that a small plane had crashed just north of the Gardiner Cemetery and east of Yellowstone Trail inside Yellowstone National Park. The accident site is south of the publicly-owned Gardiner Airport, which is outside the park boundary.

The seriously injured pilot was removed from the wreckage and transported by ambulance to Gardiner Airport, then transferred to a Summit Air Ambulance helicopter and taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for treatment.

The plane is an Aero Commander agricultural aircraft, which is designed to carry a single pilot and no passengers.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the accident, which is under investigation.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office and Gardiner Ambulance joined Yellowstone National Park law enforcement rangers, firefighters, and EMS personnel in a park ambulance in responding to the incident.


Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Six Climbers Killed On Liberty Ridge

The search for a party of six overdue climbers on Liberty Ridge came to a tragic conclusion on May 31st when an air search identified personal items and detected avalanche beacon signals at a location 3,300 feet below the ridge in a debris field on the Carbon Glacier. This area correlates with the fall line in the area of the climbers’ last known location.

With all physical evidence at the scene suggesting that the party was buried in the debris field for nearly three days along with the 3,300 feet fall, it was determined that there was no chance of survival. 

Evidence suggests that the party was swept off the mountain in an avalanche-like event.  The final fall location is extremely hazardous due to continuous rock and ice fall from the ridge above.  Recovery efforts would require ground and aviation resources and would put recovery personnel in the direct path of these hazards.  Incident command made the decision to not conduct those efforts in light of the unacceptable risks to recovery personnel and the operation transitioned to a limited, continuous search at that time. Recovery efforts will be evaluated on an ongoing basis as conditions change. 

The party consisted of two Alpine Ascents International climbing guides and four clients. They last contacted their office on May 28th at approximately 6:00 pm by satellite phone from about 12,800 feet on the Liberty Ridge route. They reported that all was well at the time. The climbers were planning to make their push to the summit the following day. Alpine Ascents reported the overdue party at 4:30 pm on May 30th. 

Approximately 50 people were assigned to the operation, including park staff, commercial climbing guides and military personnel. A team of three climbing rangers conducted a ground search along the Liberty Ridge climbing route.  The US Army Reserve 214th Air Division out of Joint Base Lewis McChord and Northwest Helicopters provided the helicopter assets vital to locating the climbing victims. 

The combined efforts of the ground search and aerial search teams ensured that the suspected accident area was methodically searched for any evidence associated with the climbing victims.  

Drugs, phantom bears, and rescue – http://fox13now.com/2014/06/04/search-and-rescue-underway-in-logan-canyon/

Injured climber rescued http://www.ksl.com/?sid=30127569&nid=148

Stranded hikers rescued – http://fox13now.com/2014/05/31/search-and-rescue-crews-assisting-hikers-near-mt-olympus/

Boaters rescued – http://globalnews.ca/news/1367587/4-boaters-rescued-by-rcaf-search-and-rescue-crew-near-sooke/

Injured ATV rider rescued – http://www.kbzk.com/news/atv-rider-rescued-east-of-bozeman/

Rescue launched for missing man in lake – http://www.heraldargus.com/news/local/man-missing-in-lake-michigan/article_72ae67cc-e9b8-11e3-b884-001a4bcf887a.html

Lost on a jungle islandhttp://www.mysinchew.com/node/98781  &  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/06/03/Huntley-is-probably-injured-says-search-and-rescue-specialist/

Injured and lost motorcycle riders rescued – http://www.krtv.com/news/search-teams-rescue-2-men-in-lewis-and-clark-national-forest/

Stranded hikers rescued – http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/261717631.html

Search initiated for injured hikers – http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/latestlocalnews/2237877-8/search-and-rescue-crews-deployed-to-help-injured

Injured hiker rescued by helicopter http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/comorant-search-and-rescue-helicopter-crew-transports-injured-hiker-to-hospital

Dehydrated hiker rescued – http://krwg.org/post/one-lucky-manthanks-grant-county-search-and-rescue

Lost climber rescued – http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/94350/rescue-team-finds-lost-climber-in-semeru

Tasmanian rescue crew locate three missing men – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-07/police-rescue-three-men-missing-in-tasmania/5507658

Mountain biker rescued – http://www.cowichannewsleader.com/news/262313161.html

Injured cyclist rescued – http://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/262297921.html

Stranded hiker rescued – http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/69ed17eee7184872b155fd50df92133d/NM–Mountain-Rescue

Survival Weekly 5/25/14 – Manimal to the Rescue


A good friend of mine, Aaron “Manimal” Smith, is featured on the morning report for one of his many climbing rescues

Yosemite National Park (CA)
Injured Climber Rescued From El Capitan

Park dispatch received an emergency call from a climber in a party on the Salathe Route on El Capitan around 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 10th. 

The climber, who was approximately 1,000 feet up on the route, reported that he was down-climbing when he pulled a large rock from the wall that was approximately the size of a small refrigerator and that it fell from his location and struck another climber approximately 200 feet below him on the same route. 

That climber, a 45-year-old Australian man, sustained injuries to his lower extremities and was unable to move.  The lead climber from the other party who pulled the block loose sustained minor injuries to his ankle.

Rangers David Pope and Aaron Smith arrived on scene via fixed ropes on the route about two hours later. The injured climber, located on a feature known as the Heart Ledges, received medical attention, was packaged in a litter, and was lowered to Yosemite Valley with Pope as the litter attendant. Smith, along with Cheyne Lempe, Everett Phillips, and Bud Miller from Yosemite SAR, then assisted the victim’s climbing partner to Yosemite Valley via rappel.    

Once on the ground, the injured climber was transported via ground ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment.  The victim’s partner sustained no injuries during the incident.  The climber who pulled the rock loose was able to self-extricate.

Supervisory Valley Ranger Chris Bellino served as the incident commander for this rescue.

Crater Lake National Park (OR)
Search For Missing Snowshoer Scaled Back

On the morning of Wednesday, April 30th, park dispatch received a report that a visitor who’d rented snowshoes from the park concessioner two days previously had failed to return from a hike in the park to take pictures.

Rangers immediately began a search of the Rim Village area and located his vehicle.  Rangers, other park staff and volunteer ski patrol members searched trails leading from Rim Village for any sign of him. A life flight helicopter flew the caldera rim below the village, but could only search briefly due to high winds in the area.  The helicopter also flew the road around the lake, but there was no sign of the missing hiker. 

Rangers contacted all other persons who had rented snowshoes during the time period between that Monday and Wednesday.  Following a lead from one of them, rangers located a personal item belonging to the hiker that had been turned in as lost and found. 

Search teams then responded to an area along the Garfield Peak Trail where the item had been found and came upon a single set of snowshoe tracks leading from the trail onto a snow cornice that had collapsed. Extensive search efforts were conducted in that area over subsequent days by ground and air, but no signs of the man were found. The broken snow cornice extended out over a near vertical 1100 foot section of the caldera wall.  A fall from that location would likely not be survivable. 

The search was subsequently scaled back, but is ongoing as weather and snow conditions permit.  Investigation of the lakeshore by boat will occur in the coming weeks once access is possible and conditions are safe.

Warm, sunny weather the day the hiker went missing followed several days of substantial snowfall at the park and likely contributed to the type of unstable snow conditions that lead to the cornices collapsing.  Snow cornices pose a serious hazard. Cornices are formed when snow is blown over sharp terrain such as the rim of Crater Lake.  The snow forms an overhang with no solid ground beneath it for support.  Snow cornices are a regular occurrence in the park this time of year and can collapse without warning.  Visitors are warned to use extreme caution and stay away from the edge of the rim at all times.

Ranger Jordan Neumann is the incident commander. 

As the weather warms up, more people hit the water. Don’t leave the lifejackets behind..

Missing canoeist – http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/local/2014/05/24/search-for-missing-boater-/9534003/

More missing canoers rescued – http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/air-force-coast-guard-and-rcmp-rescue-two-from-lake-winnipeg-1.1828284

Another search for a missing canoeist – http://www.thecourierexpress.com/news/local/article_2ea91668-df4e-11e3-8b35-001a4bcf887a.html


Missing paraglider located by pinging his cellphone – http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Paraglider-rescued-after-crash-south-of-Salt-Lake-5498641.php

Lost ginseng poachers get rescued, then convicted – http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20140522/ARTICLES/140529940/-1/frontpage?p=1&tc=pg

Lost hikers rescued – http://www.kfvs12.com/story/25572942/3-hikers-rescued-from-little-grand-canyon

Ankle injury prompts rescue – http://www.cknw.com/2014/05/20/injured-senior-pulled-off-mt-seymour/

Missing hiker rescued – http://crowncitynews.com/news/4820/hiker-rescued-via-helicopter-from-eaton-canyon-campground/


Survival Weekly – 5/18/14

Denali National Park & Preserve (AK)
Climber Dies On Mount McKinley

One member of a two-person climbing team perished last week in an early season climbing fall on Mt. McKinley. The fatal fall likely occurred on May 5th after the two climbers became separated during a descent from Denali Pass in stormy weather.

Mike Fuchs, 34, of Berlin, Germany, and Sylvia Montag, 39, of Tacoma, Washington, began their ascent of the Muldrow Glacier route on April 15th. They reached Denali Pass at 18,200 feet on May 3rd, where they encountered strong winds that forced them to camp for two nights. 

At 11 a.m. on Monday, May 5th, Fuchs contacted rangers at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station via satellite phone from the 17,200-foot High Camp on the West Buttress. He reported that the two had gotten separated as they descended from Denali Pass to the 17,200-foot camp. They were not roped together, nor did they have radio communications with one another.  Fuchs said they’d both been weakened by the several nights spent at Denali Pass, and that each possessed only partial survival gear.  In addition to his personal gear, Fuchs had their satellite phone and camp stove, while Montag had the tent, limited food, and her personal gear.

Due to limited visibility and high winds estimated between 40 to 60 mph, Fuchs took shelter in an NPS rescue cache, a metal storage locker for emergency supplies and equipment at 17,200 feet. He phoned back the following morning and asked for a rescue for both himself and Montag, who he hoped was camped at Denali Pass. The weather that day remained windy with low visibility and an NPS helicopter rescue was not feasible.  Furthermore, a ground rescue was not possible, as Fuchs and Montag were two of the earliest Denali climbers of the 2014 season and at the time were the only climbers above 14,200 feet on the mountain. The only NPS ranger patrol on the mountain was camped at 7,800-feet. 

On Wednesday morning, Fuchs called and reported slightly calmer winds and clear skies at 17,200 feet. He also reported that he had still not seen his climbing partner descending Denali Pass. Clouds and poor visibility below his altitude hampered a rescue that day, though a Hercules C-130 from the 210th Rescue Squadron was launched at noon by the Rescue Coordination Center in Anchorage to provide aerial reconnaissance and weather reports.  The C-130 crew reported no sighting of Montag near Denali Pass.

Taking advantage of a clearing trend Wednesday evening, a mountaineering ranger and pilot flew to the pas in Denali’s high altitude A-Star B3 helicopter, with the C-130 flying as a cover aircraft.  After several passes of the area, the helicopter crew spotted Montag’s body 800 to 1,000 feet below the Denali Pass traverse on the Peters Glacier.  Fuchs was observed by the flight crew standing near his camp at 17,200 feet.

The NPS helicopter returned to the Kahiltna Basecamp at 7,200-feet to drop off the mountaineering ranger.  Pilot Andy Hermansky then flew back to the 17,200-foot camp to evacuate Fuchs using a rescue basket attached to a shorthaul line under the helicopter.  Fuchs was flown to the Kahiltna Basecamp for a medical assessment, then evacuated to Talkeetna State Airport and released. 

Sylvia Montag’s body will be recovered when an NPS ground team reaches the 17,200 foot camp.


Buffalo National Scenic River (AR)
Body Of Drowning Victim Found After Three-Day Search

On the morning of Saturday, May 3rd, a mission was launched by the park’s search and rescue team after a report was received of an overdue hunter. Family members had reported that Wilson Taylor, a well-known local Arkansas resident in his mid-forties, failed to return home from a turkey hunting trip that began early Friday morning in the Baker Ford area of the park. 

Buffalo National River SAR coordinated with Searcy County on a search of the river corridor and adjacent lands that got underway around 10 a.m. on Saturday. Taylor had been traveling by kayak to reach a well-known hunting area.

During the course of the search, some of Taylor’s personal items were recovered from the riverbanks. Plot cameras set up along the river for creel surveys by resource management staff were checked and found to contain photos of two kayakers finding Taylor’s kayak, which was tangled in brush, and taking it downriver. A helicopter which had been called in from Baxter County Sheriff’s Office and had previously been sweeping the area followed the river’s course and discovered the kayakers 31 miles downriver at Dillard’s Ferry.

The pilot landed the helicopter, made contact with the kayakers, and retrieved the kayak. Intensive foot and horseback searches were undertaken on land surfaces along both sides of the river while helicopter sweeps were made along the river corridor. Family members offered many suggestions as to likely locations based on Taylor’s recent conversations about where he had seen turkeys. 

During the next two days’ search, dive teams and drag hook teams swept the river bottom. In the afternoon on Monday a drag team hooked Taylor’s shotgun from a pool approximately a half mile upstream from where he’d launched his kayak. Dive teams were relocated to this area and within the hour an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission dive team found Taylor’s body in the same pool where the shotgun was found.

By mission’s end, over 150 civilian volunteers and personnel from almost two dozen agencies had contributed efforts to the cause.  The park expresses sincere gratitude to all of them for their indispensable cooperation. Middle Buffalo District Ranger Kevin Moses was incident commander for the first two days; FMO Fenn Wimberly was IC on the third day.

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Injured Climber Short-Hauled From Lane Peak

Early on the afternoon of Sunday, May 11th, a skier was hit by a large chunk of falling ice and snow in a tight gully on Lane Peak near Reflection Lake.  The skier took a tumble down the steep and narrow gully and sustained some face and neck injuries.  

Rangers and two off-duty climbing guides with friends who were nearby responded and performed a patient assessment and began medical care. The park’s short-haul helicopter was called and extricated the skier just before sunset. He was then taken by ambulance to the hospital.  

Seventeen mountain rescue volunteers also responded and were prepared to evacuate the injured man by ground if the short-haul operation became impractical.  

Ranger Esteban Monreal served as IC.

North Cascades National Park (WA)
Skier Killed In Snow Slide On Mount Shuksan

Late yesterday morning, park dispatch received a cell phone report that one of two skiers who’d been ascending the north face of Mount Shuksan for a ski tour had been hit by a snow slide and swept down the mountain. The other had narrowly avoided the slide.

Two climbing rangers were dispatched via the park’s contract helicopter to perform an aerial search and spotted the missing skier around 3:30 p.m. They determined that he hadn’t survived the fall, estimated at over 2,000 feet.

Due to the nature of the terrain and the warm weather with potential for continued unstable snow conditions, rangers were unable to recover the body yesterday. Another effort will be made today if conditions permit.

Whatcom County SAR and Bellingham Mountain Rescue also responded to the incident. 

CPR revives hiker –  http://www.wbir.com/story/news/local/sevierville-sevier/2014/05/13/rescue-underway-in-smokies-for-hiker-who-collapsed/9052833/

Missing snowmobilers  –http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674arviat_police_search_and_rescue_looking_for_two_missing_men/

Mountaineer rescued from crevasse – http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/10039876/Heroes-awarded-for-dramatic-alpine-rescue

Missing plane locarted – http://www.powelltribune.com/news/item/12384-missing-plane-found-on-north-fork

Injured skier and hiker rescued – http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/gallatin-co-search-and-rescue-help-injured-skier-hiker/25971232

NH passes legislation for a “Hiker” card – http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/11969655-95/senate-approves-hiking-card-that-will-help-fund-search-and-rescue-operations

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/05/15/ams-slip-n-slide-down-canal-trail-hillside-mother-daughter-rescue/#.U3jHR_ldX58

Hikers stranded in snow, rescued – http://www.cknw.com/2014/05/15/two-hikers-rescued-from-mt-seymour/

Fellow climbers assist in rescue – http://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton-S-Okanagan/115395/Fellow-climbers-assist-rescue

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/red-rock-hiker-rescued-after-fall

Search for missing canoeists continues – http://www.cknw.com/2014/05/17/hi-tech-search-for-missing-canoeists-continues/