Tag Archives: plane crash

Big, Big BUSAR Update – May thru October…



The above are my two reasons why this update has been a long time coming.

Without further ado…

Training – 

  • Returned to crash site of N1839X and recovered two cellphones of victims
  • Doc Miller and Borkowski knocked out the Rescue Swimmer class
  • Doc Miller and Borkowski knocked out Swiftwater I & II
  • NPS Tech Team training – Swiftwater on Pigeon River – Benjamin and Johnston
  • NPS Tech Team training at Chimney Tops – Benjamin, Ransom, Sharbel, Herrington
  • Benjamin taught 16 hours of medical, 32 hours of swiftwater rescue, 55 of rope rescue, and 132 hours of rescue swimmer training to various agencies
  • Ritter completed his litter team training and first aid/CPR class
  • Herrington taught four survival and P-SAR (Preventative-Search & Rescue) classes at REI stores in Knoxville, Brentwood, and Asheville
  • Geist taught two Wilderness First Responder classes for SOLO-SE
  • Land navigation training and course setup – Harrell, Johnston, Miller, and Herrington
  • Borkowski taught multiple LZ classes to fire departments and rescue squads in VA
  • Borkowski developed draft of SRT2 Aviation training module
  • Harrel completed his SAR-duous duty pack test
  • Lewis  taught multiple tracking and SAR skills classes for VDEM to volunteers, first responders, and VA Department of Corrections.


Responses – 

  • Recovery at Ramsey Cascades
  • Recovery on Abrams Falls trail
  • Recovery on Alum Cave trail
  • Bohanon SAR – BUSAR logged over 630 hours during the 8 day search and had 100% response rate
  • Abrams Creek stranded hikers – Borkowski
  • Abrams Falls search – Johnston
  • Sharbel hired on as a seasonal SAR ranger out of Gatlinburg. He has more responses than I can list here, but has been averaging 3 – 4 incidents per week
  • Doc Miller responded to Hurricane Harvey and then Irma with his USAR team. what a stud!

Team Workouts – Going strong every week. Sharbs forgot his kettlebell one night, which inspired the painful,  “Follow-the-leader” interval . Yep, that is a dog at our workout too!


BUSAR is a 501(c)3 non-profit. To help us help others, go here… teambusar.org

BUSAR Update – December & January..


Training – We trained at Lookrock in both December and January. December focused on hypothermia treatment, SKED packaging, and high angle recovery.

January focused on multiple reps of steep angle, with sessions after dark as well.

Morgan and Sharbel also completed BigPig Outdoor’s Survival 101 course in January.

And the Jernigator did a little run up Groundhog Ridge manway..

Responses – 

  • Grieco, Ransom, Sharbel, Campbell, Sledge, Jernigan, Geist, Wadley, and Lewis responded to the crash of N1839X. Plane crash in the Smokies
  • Grieco responded to missing AT hiker at Peck’s Corner

Team Workouts – 2017 marks the end of 35 pound kettlebells as we up it to 45 pounders. Thank you for the loyal service and punishment you have brought to the team…



Recruitment – 

  • Jeff Wadley – Former Lt Colonel in Civil Air Patrol and SAR theory junkie. Literally wrote the book on plane crashes in the Smokies – Mayday, Mayday
  • Ben Harrell – Former Civil Air Patrol ground team leader and computer wizard


Fall Foraging & Survival 101 Dates Announced…


Old Man Winter called me today and said it’s time to get the schedule out..

Survival 101:


Fall foraging class will be Saturday, September 24th:




Survial Weekly – 9/21/15…


Image: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/north-shore-rescue-seeing-spike-in-calls-during-long-weekend-1.3217415

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 – 

Four days, three nights. Utah man toughs it out – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/09/15/utah-man-brush-lost-woods-survival/72297360/

Video of highlights CSAR program – http://globalnews.ca/news/2205207/inside-the-reality-of-search-and-rescue/

News – 

Tidewater celebrates 30 year anniversary!! – http://wydaily.com/2015/09/15/local-news-tidewater-search-and-rescue/

CAP cell phone forensics team receives award – http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2015/09/04/cap-saves-lives-search-rescue-missions-earns-commanders-award/71724894/

Water Safety – 

Missing kayaker found – http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/fire-crews-searching-for-missing-kayaker-on-reservoir

Body of kayaker recovered – http://www.islandecho.co.uk/news/search-and-rescue-operation-underway-in-sandown-bay

Man overboard – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/search-rescue-shediac-bay-1.3222109

Coast Guard searches for boater – http://abc7news.com/news/coast-guard-searches-for-sf-man-reported-missing-from-angel-island/973499/

Water SAR – http://www.local10.com/news/rescue-crews-search-pompano-beachs-intercoastal-waterway/35377306

Catalina SAR for boater – http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-catalina-boat-crash-search-20150907-story.html


Image: https://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/South_Okanagan/15/09/02/Multiple_Search_Teams_Help_Rescue_Three_Men_from_Manning_Park

Hiking – 

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Missing hunter – http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/search-continues-for-fairbanks-man-missing-from-hunting-camp/article_810cb02e-5d9a-11e5-8a67-bbfd0fa03cc1.html

Body of missing hunter recovered – http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2015/sep/11/body-missing-hunter-located/

Gold miners rescued – http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/WATCH-VIDEO-CHP-rescues-gold-miners-near-Lake/35Ot_wCDr0GS_u8KU5fA4A.cspx


Image: https://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/South_Okanagan/15/09/02/Multiple_Search_Teams_Help_Rescue_Three_Men_from_Manning_Park

Climbing – 

Climbing accident – http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/rangers-rescue-man-who-fell-feet-off-middle-teton/article_5ca1875a-fa19-5686-a305-04180a7ecb9f.html

Vehicles – 

 Driver survives wreck in remote area for a week – http://m.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11511656

PLB signals rescue of motorcyclist – http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/distress-beacon-saves-injured-motorbiker-in-remote-goldfields-rescue/story-fnhocxo3-1227533290216

SAR initiated for stranded motorists – http://infotel.ca/newsitem/search-and-rescue-called-out-for-two-people-lost-south-of-kamloops/it23161

Injured mountain biker rescued – http://www.castanet.net/news/West-Kelowna/147299/Smith-Creek-rescue

Small plane crash kills five – http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20150907/NEWS01/150909699/-1/s/5-die-in-plane-crash-near-Cascade-Creek-

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 or S.O.S. Class http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/skills-of-survival.html


Image: http://lompocrecord.com/news/local/sb-county-men-assist-with-rescue-in-sierra-national-forest/article_8a879233-f4cc-5bef-9488-28ff1ae9950f.html

Survival Weekly – 9/1/15…


Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/10-year-survival-smarts-lost-utah-forest/story?id=33297575

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 – 

Whistles save lives!! 9 day ordeal over – http://www.keyt.com/news/sheriffs-search-and-rescue-team-members-help-missing-hiker-in-the-sierra/35022202

An underestimated threat in the woods – http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/2-kids-killed-in-Yosemite-when-tree-branch-falls-6444858.php

News – 

Obama joins the survival reality show ranks – http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/31/politics/obama-bear-grylls-running-wild-survival-show/

BUSAR, a personal project fulfilled, conducts interagency training – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1037419219615195/

IMG_0172 (2)

Water Safety – 

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
Two Rescued Woman Charged With Assault On Rescuing Rangers

On August 4th, Ryann Shelly Holmes of Kayenta, Arizona, pled guilty to a Class A misdemeanor count of assaulting/resisting federal law enforcement officers during the commission of their duties.

The charge stemmed from an incident that had occurred on June 28th. Rangers had received a call of two intoxicated women, one of whom was having difficulty in the water while swimming dangerously close to the main channel of Lake Powell off the shore of Antelope Point.

The rangers rescued Mary Ann Gray, of Phoenix, Arizona, when it became apparent she was in danger of drowning.  Once she was pulled to shore, Gray became combative with the rangers. Holmes then interfered by pushing and hitting the rangers while they were attempting to place Gray under arrest.

Holmes was sentenced to ten days in jail, will be on probation for one year, and is banned from the park during that time. Gray is scheduled to appear in court later in August.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Park SAR Team Joins In Rescue Of Seriously Injured Man

On the evening of August 17th, park dispatch received a request for assistance from the New Jersey State Park Police. They needed help from the park’s SAR team in carrying out a 19-year-old New Jersey man who’d been seriously injured in a fall of from a tree near Sunfish Pond. He’d climbed the tree in order to take a picture.

When members of the SAR team and on-duty personnel arrived at Worthington State Forest, they learned that county paramedics and an officer were on scene with the man, that he’d suffered from a head injury and a possible fractured leg, and that he was in stable condition. The nine-person carryout team headed to his location, arriving around 1:30 a.m.

Once team members were on scene and could speak directly with the paramedics they determined that the man most likely had a fractured pelvis and that moving him by hand to a location that he could be transferred to a ground ambulance would cause him extreme pain. The decision was made to request a helicopter evacuation.

The New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, which the team regularly trains with, was contacted but was unavailable to assist. The United States Coast Guard out of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, was then contacted and agreed to respond and attempt the evacuation, but their estimated time of arrival was between 5:30 and 6 a.m. The decision was made to go with the helicopter evacuation using the USCG helicopter. The team remained in place to assist with patient care and in case the helicopter evacuation turned out not to be possible.

The Coast Guard helicopter arrived in the area at approximately 5:40 a.m. The helicopter crew did a reconnaissance of the area and then lowered a rescue technician to the ground via its hoist. The injured man was then raised via the hoist to the helicopter and evacuated by air.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Body Of Missing Swimmer Found By NPS Dive Team

Park rangers recovered the body of Darius L. Vinson of Far Rockaway, New York, from the Delaware River just north of the I-80 toll bridge on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 19th.

Vinson, 26, was swimming with a friend near the Karamac Parking Area around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon when he began to struggle in the current and went under. His friend attempted to rescue him, but he too was caught in the strong current and began to struggle before being rescued by passing kayakers.  Neither man was wearing a life jacket.

Rangers began searching the area almost immediately on foot and in boats with assistance from Shawnee, Delaware Water Gap, and Portland Volunteer Fire Departments and Bushkill and Suburban EMS crews.  The NPS dive team searched underwater for approximately two hours before suspending the search due to darkness.

Divers resumed operations on Wednesday morning.  Vinson’s body was recovered in 10 feet of water approximately 800 yards downstream from where he’s entered the water.

Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River (NY,PA)
New York Man Drowns In Delaware River

A 48-year-old man from Flushing, New York, was swimming off Ascalona Campground in the Delaware River on the afternoon of August 14th when he began having trouble in the middle of the river.  Several visitors in kayaks also noticed the swimmer was having difficulty and told people on shore to call 911.

The kayakers saw him go underwater for 30 to 45 seconds and recovered the unconscious man. Family members and friends began CPR.  Rangers’ Kevin Reish and Larry Neal were responding to a disturbance call, noticed the incident, and joined in the response.

The man was taken by American Legion ambulance to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis. He was later flown to Westchester Medical Center, where he subsequently died.

Divers rescued – http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/hallandale/fl-hallandale-sea-rescue-20150827-story.html

Missing kayaker – http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article32825562.html

Hiking – 

Adirondack SAR highlights – http://poststar.com/news/local/adirondack-forest-ranger-search-and-rescue-highlights/article_a989dccc-5014-11e5-bcc0-0b70cce99d02.html

Teen helps rescue father – http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865635565/13-year-old-keeps-dad-alive-after-he-was-injured-by-falling-boulder.html?pg=all

10 year old boy rescued – http://abcnews.go.com/US/10-year-survival-smarts-lost-utah-forest/story?id=33297575

Drunk rescued – http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3881000.shtml

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –


source: http://www.keyt.com/news/sheriffs-search-and-rescue-team-members-help-missing-hiker-in-the-sierra/35022202

Hunter-gatherer – 

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (MT,WY)
Fisherman’s Life Saved With AED

Ranger Jordan Sjogren was called out early on the morning of August 20th to respond to a report of an elderly male who had collapsed from an apparent heart attack while fishing in the Bighorn River. CPR was reportedly in progress.

Upon arrival, Sjogren attached the AED to the patient while a Bighorn County deputy and other civilian responders continued CPR. The AED called for a total of three shocks and CPR was continued. After the third shock, the man regained a pulse.

St. Vincent’s Help Flight arrived on scene and assumed care of the patient. He was flown to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings, Montana, and is currently in the intensive care unit.

Search for missing fisherman – http://abc7.com/news/rescue-teams-search-for-fisherman-who-fell-overboard-at-irvine-lake/952779/

Missing fisherman rescued – http://www.abc17news.com/news/possible-search-and-rescue-underway-in-boone-county/34897384

Climbing – 

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Ten Climbers Rescued From Stettner Couloir

During the early morning hours of Sunday, August 16th, rangers began a multi-phased rescue mission for ten climbers in two separate parties who became stranded together in the Stettner Couloir late the previous evening while descending from the Petzoldt Ridge on the Grand Teton.

The initial call for help set in motion a search and rescue operation that did not end until four of the climbers were finally evacuated from the Lower Saddle of the Grand by helicopter late Sunday afternoon. Although none of the ten climbers sustained injuries during their mountain mishap, several did suffer from exposure to the extremely wet and cold conditions that they experienced during their hours-long descent of the Stettner Couloir.

The two climbing parties (one with six members and the other with four) were attempting to summit the Grand Teton in a single day, rather than making a two-day climb with an overnight in Garnet Canyon.

The two parties met up during their respective descents off the Petzoldt Ridge, and both groups made an ill-fated decision to rappel down Chevy Couloir and into the Stettner Couloir to reach the Lower Saddle at the end of their day-long climbing adventure. With little understanding of summertime conditions typically found in the Stettner Couloir, including the icy water that drains into the couloir, this decision proved to be problematic and ultimately placed the climbers in jeopardy of incurring serious injury.

At first light on Sunday, two rangers headed out on foot from the Lower Saddle’s rescue hut to climb to the scene, assess the situation, and ideally arrange for an evacuation by the Teton Interagency contract helicopter. Because high winds prevented use of the ship, three additional rangers hiked from the Lupine Meadows trailhead to reach the rescue staging area on the Lower Saddle and prepare for a ground rescue. Once the high winds subsided, three additional rangers were flown to a backcountry landing zone located on the Lower Saddle, and they also joined in the rescue operation.

Rangers also enlisted the help of four guides from Exum Mountain Guides, and two private climbers, who happened to be in the vicinity. The two private climbers accompanied one ranger to the rescue site, and the Exum guides helped the group across the Black Dike traverse after they were free of the couloir.

Rangers provided food and hot drinks to the climbers and assessed their physical condition to determine who might need aerial evacuation. Four of the ten climbers were evacuated via helicopter at 3:00 p.m. and delivered to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache on the valley floor. The remaining six climbers hiked out of the mountains on their own.

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Two Climbers Suffer Fatal Fall On Teewinot Mountain

Jenny Lake rangers, a Teton interagency contract helicopter, and emergency medical personnel swung into action just after 11:00 a.m. yesterday to assist two separate parties. The first and more serious accident involved a party of three climbers attempting to reach the summit of Teewinot Mountain. Two of the climbers suffered a fatal fall of approximately 200 feet. The two climbers were Tyler Strandberg, 27, originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, and Catherine Nix, 28, originally from Port Chester, New York. Both women were residents of Jackson, Wyoming.

At approximately 11:15 a.m. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a cell phone call for assistance via 911 from Rebecca Anderson, 26, also of Jackson, Wyoming. Anderson reported that the two other members of her climbing party, Strandberg and Nix, had fallen and were now out of sight. She made repeated attempts to yell down to her companions, but received no reply. Anderson was stuck on a small ledge and could not move to see her companions.

Upon receiving the call, rangers quickly developed a plan to reach the three climbers. Three rangers were inserted via short-haul to Strandberg and Nix’s location, a rocky ledge at an elevation of about 11,500 feet located just above the “Worshipper” and “Idol” rock towers. On arrival, the rangers assessed the condition of Strandberg and Nix, who were both unresponsive after taking an apparent fall of 200 feet. They were pronounced dead at the scene by the rangers in consultation with the park medical director.

The rangers then turned their attention to Anderson, who was stranded above the scene. Two rangers climbed steep and technical terrain for about an hour to reach Anderson, who was uninjured, and prepared her for an evacuation. She was short-hauled with an attending ranger to the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache at 4:19 p.m. The remaining ranger then rappelled back down to Strandberg and Nix’s location.

The rangers prepared the deceased for evacuation as a second call for assistance came in. Doug Lawton, 45, of Alpine, Wyoming, was hiking on his own in Avalanche Canyon just above Lake Taminah when he accidentally pulled a “suitcase-sized” rock down on himself, injuring his leg. He was able to move a few hundred feet to a more level location, where the helicopter landed and evacuated Lawton to the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache at 5:16 p.m. He was transported by ambulance to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming.

The helicopter returned to Teewinot Mountain to fly the deceased to the rescue cache via long-line, where they were transferred to the Teton County coroner. The two remaining rangers were then flown back to the rescue cache via short-haul.

The three women were attempting to ascend the East Face of Teewinot Mountain. The East Face is the typical route to the summit of Teewinot and also the easiest. It is rated a class 4.0 climb, meaning that it consists of exposed rock climbing but is not considered technical in nature. Though the route is frequently climbed without ropes, the terrain is very steep and good route-finding skills, mountaineering experience, and caution are essential. The climbers were well off the East Face route and in much more difficult technical terrain when the fall occurred. They were not using ropes at the time of the fall and were apparently trying to find the proper route.

Woan and dogs rescued off cliff – http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28705473/daly-city-cliff-rescue-underway-near-palisades-park

Vehicles – 

 Dirt bike rider rescued – http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/08/20/jla-responders-rescue-injured-dirt-biker-near-stucki-spring-using-polaris-ranger/#.VeXJlfm6fIU

Mountain biker rescued – http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/injured-mountain-biker-rescued-near-big-sky/article_c3f52270-d45b-566d-b856-8c6969f88392.html

Couple survives plane crash – http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11501872

ATV rider rescued – http://www.brighouseecho.co.uk/news/local/injured-quad-biker-rescued-by-calder-valley-search-and-rescue-team-in-hipperholme-1-7425020

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 and http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/skills-of-survival.html


Source: http://www.keyt.com/news/sheriffs-search-and-rescue-team-members-help-missing-hiker-in-the-sierra/35022202

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 – 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 – 1/7/2015…


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 – 

7 year old survives plane crash – http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/02/us/kentucky-plane-crash/

News – 

First person account of getting rescued – http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/lost-in-the-mountains-of-north-carolina

Winter Sports – 

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Search For Missing Snowshoer Comes To Tragic Conclusion

The search for a 37-year-old local man who was overdue from a snowshoeing trip in the park came to a tragic conclusion on December 29th when ground crews located his body next to Edith Creek in the Paradise area, not far from the point last seen.

The man went missing on the evening of December 27th during a winter storm that dropped 20 inches of snow in 48 hours. He intended to overnight at Camp Muir, but only made it as far as Panorama Point due to formidable winter storm conditions.

A party of two waiting out the storm at Panorama Point took him into their shelter, but when the shelter was destroyed by the extreme conditions they attempted to complete their descent to Paradise together. During the descent, the man became separated from his companions in the vicinity of Edith Creek.

A hasty search was conducted on December 28th, with members of the Nordic Patrol scouring main routes in the area. Operations expanded on December 29th to include air and ground searches from Edith Creek to the upper Stevens Canyon drainage.

Members of Tacoma, Everett, Seattle, and Olympic Mountain Rescues participated in the ground search. A Chinook from the US Army Reserve’s 214th Air Division, Joint Base Lewis McChord, with park climbing rangers aboard searched by air. Approximately 30 NPS and partner personnel were assigned to the incident. David Keltner was incident commander.

Hiking – 

Search suspended for missing hiker – http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/29/3562638/search-for-olympic-national-park.html

FLETC classmate Hinchy to the rescue!! – http://www.nbc29.com/story/27749624/park-rangers-rescue-hiker-near-old-rag-mt#.VKeo0v6pomo.facebook

Tracks of missing hiker found – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11382483

Hikers rescued – http://poststar.com/news/local/adirondack-forest-ranger-search-and-rescue-highlights-dec–/article_96ac1a74-94ef-11e4-9dd5-5b54d5d746e2.html

Leave a location in your trip plan – http://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/Provincial/15/01/05/Search_and_Rescue_Called_in_to_Look_for_Missing_Vancouver_Man


Hunter-gatherer – 

Missing hunter found – http://www.scsun-news.com/silver_city-news/ci_27262788

Fishermen rescued – http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/chopper-search-and-rescue-mission-near-baffle-cree/2500109/

Climbing – 

Climber rescued – http://www.havasunews.com/news/mohave-county-search-and-rescue-volunteers-help-man-stuck-on/article_49168308-904e-11e4-8b11-b727d75687bd.html

Water Safety – 

Two bodies recoovered in boating fatality – http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Emergency-Crews-Conducting-Search-and-Rescue-on-Lake-Talquin-287421731.html

Dive team recovers drowning victim – http://www.wfla.com/story/27764635/pasco-dive-team-member-reflects-on-search-and-rescue-efforts

Vehicles – 

Missing mountain bikers found – http://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-news/lost-santa-clarita-valley-hikers-found-by-search-and-rescue-117468

Helicopter diverted from plane crash search to water rescue – http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/search-and-rescue-teams-kept-busy-near-ruakaka/5/211241

Urban – 

Search continues for missing woman – http://www.chillicothegazette.com/story/news/crime/2014/12/30/search-resumes-missing-woman/21051643/

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

rescue (2)

Survival Weekly – 12/30/14…

rescue (1)

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 – 

Frostbite, punctured lung, and a wolverine battle – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2889210/Miracle-survival-Alaskan-man-spent-three-days-sub-zero-wilderness-snowmobile-sank-fight-wolverine-stick.html

Lost, broken wrist, hypothermia.. the 101 trifecta –  http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20141222/hiker-rescued-above-sierra-madre

News – 

Students make drone attachment –http://3dprint.com/32642/student-search-and-rescue/

New Hampshire “Hike Safe” 2015 cards now available online – http://www.pressherald.com/2014/12/27/n-h-offers-hike-safe-cards-to-shield-hikers-from-rescue-costs/


Winter Sports – 

Skier and snowboarder spent night out in Telluride backcountry – http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/Lost-skier-and-snowboarder-rescued-after-overnight-in-Bear-Creek-286887211.html

Body of snowshoer recovered – http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Search-mission-at-Mount-Rainier-Paradise-closed-287027711.html

Snowmobiler rescued from avalanche – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/snowmobiler-rescued-after-avalanche-near-whistler-1.2883968

Skier spends cold night out – http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/12/24/skier-found-safe-after-night-mountain/v5Hk1giEo5vaPKiw6vW8II/story.html

Hiking – 

Hiker rescued after week in shelter – http://www.mrtimes.com/news/missing-maple-ridge-hiker-rescued-from-golden-ears-mountain-after-a-week-1.1693776
Olympic National Park (WA)
Major Search In Progress For Missing Day Hiker

Yesterday marked the fifth day of an ongoing interagency search for a 60-year-old Port Angeles man who failed to return from a day hike he took in the park last Monday.

Searchers from the park, Olympic Mountain Rescue, Tacoma Mountain Rescue, Clallam County SAR, Jefferson County SAR, and two dog teams from German Shepherd’s Search Dogs continued to search the Olympic Hot Springs area over the weekend.

Jim Griffin, who frequently hikes the two-and-a-half-mile trail to the hot springs, went for a day hike there on Monday, December 22nd. On Wednesday, December 24th, around 10:00 p.m., friends reported Griffin overdue when he did not show up for Christmas Eve dinner.

Three NPS searchers began the search that evening and continued through the night. On Christmas Day, two two-person teams searched for Griffin. Several friends of Griffins, including the reporting party, assisted in the efforts on both Thursday and Friday.

On the afternoon of Christmas Day, Griffin’s day pack was located 50 feet off trail about a half mile from the trailhead. On Friday, eight search groups, including three dog teams, searched until dark. The park also attempted to use Griffin’s dog in the search, but the dog was not able to indicate where Griffin might be.

On Saturday, 21 searchers and two dogs resumed the effort to find him. The search teams completed a grid search within 500 feet of the location where Griffin’s day pack was found. They covered the entire search area in a grid pattern about ten feet apart, but no clues were found.

Park incident team members spoke to a couple on Saturday who had a conversation with Griffin at the hot springs. They believe he left the springs around 4:00 p.m. on Monday, which would mean he hiked back in the dark.

On Sunday, three teams were in the field and were joined by a group of Griffins’ friends. No sign of him was found. The search will be suspended today, but the investigation will continue.

Anyone who was at the Olympic Hot Springs, on the trail, or at the parking lot last Monday is asked to contact park dispatch at 360-565-3115. Even the smallest piece of information might help in the search.

Rock slide kills hiker – http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Rock+slide+kills+girl+mountain+near+Lions/10674236/story.html

Hunter-gatherer – 

Fishermen rescued – https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/25856769/fishermen-rescued-off-dunsborough/

Coast Guard rescues fishermen – http://www.abcnews4.com/story/27699466/coast-guard-involved-in-rescue-near-mcclellanville

Climbing – 

Injured climber rescued – http://business.scoop.co.nz/2014/12/24/helicopter-rescue-from-summit-of-mt-ngauruhoe/

Water Safety – 

Teen swimmer missing – http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/search-underway-teen-missing-90-mile-beach-6212201

Jetskier rescued after night out – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-2887073/Jetskier-missing-Victoria-NSW-border.html

Six rescued from rip tides – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/64482618/six-rescued-from-bay-of-plenty-rips

Lake Superior swimmer fatality – http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27198378/1-dead-1-missing-lake-superior-at-bluefin

Vehicles – 

Wreckage and bodies of Airasia flight found – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/12/30/missing-airasia-jet/21037899/

Two snowmobilers recovered from icy lake – http://ravallirepublic.com/missoula/news/local/article_724fcb82-9038-5ba4-9149-f767efda9ada.html

Vehicle located at bottom of lake – http://www.jrn.com/kgun9/news/Search-and-rescue-units-looking-for-car-at-bottom-of-lake-in-Lakeside-Park-286972451.html

Small plane crash – http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/news/local/2014/12/24/kimball-firefighters-search-missing-plane/20876585/

Missing ATV rider found – http://www.parkrecord.com/summit_county-news/ci_27196602/sar-deployed-twice-over-weekend

Urban – 

Missing four year old found by search dog – http://myfox8.com/2014/12/26/davidson-county-woman-dog-help-find-body-of-missing-south-carolina-boy/

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 – 9/22/14…


Featured – 

Risk vs. reward – The human body is tough, but not designed to fall from heights. Pick your climbing trees carefully. 

Fall from tree, leads to fall off cliff and severe trauma –   http://www.azfamily.com/news/Critically-injured-hiker-rescued-from-Oak-Creek-Canyon-275939781.html

News – 

Canadian SAR teams skydive to reach victims!! – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/sar-crews-drop-from-the-sky-train-in-labrador-1.2770279

Hunter/Gatherer – 

Search continues for missing hunter – http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/search-efforts-continue-for-bozeman-hunter/28086704

Body of man cutting firewood found – http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/body-of-missing-stevensville-man-located/28057516

Injured fisherman rescued from trawler –  https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/north-east/peterhead/347300/man-airlifted-from-peterhead-trawler-in-dramatic-rescue/

Hiking – 

Injured hiker rescued – http://www.lex18.com/news/rescue-crews-on-scene-of-search-rescue-in-wolfe-co-

Missing hiker found – http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2014/09/15/hiker-missing-snoqualmie-national-forest/15673469/

Injured teen rescued – http://fox13now.com/2014/09/20/search-and-rescue-crews-respond-near-wall-lake-teen-flown-to-area-hospital/

Climbing – 

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Body Found Near Alberta Falls

A man’s body was discovered Wednesday morning along the shoreline next to Glacier Creek at the base of a rock outcropping, roughly 200 feet down from Alberta Falls. Rangers reached the body about 30 minutes later and confirmed that he was dead.

There were no witnesses and the incident is under investigation, but foul play is not suspected.  The man’s body was flown to a landing zone near the Glacier Basin Campground and was transferred to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.


Coast Guard rescue scuba diver –  http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=1098506#.VB-Nu_nIL59

Flood waters claim another victim – http://www.oaoa.com/news/article_2cc8a9fa-402c-11e4-a517-0017a43b2370.html

Vehicles – 

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Pilot Rescued After Plane Crash In Park

On Tuesday, September 16th, rangers participated in the successful rescue of a 67-year-old man from San Jose whose plane crashed in a remote area of Sequoia National Park. The plane was reported missing when it failed to arrive as scheduled in Lone Pine, California, on Monday afternoon.

The park was notified around 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning that a transponder signal had been traced to the Forgotten Canyon area of Sequoia National Park. At approximately 9 a.m., the wreckage was spotted near Funston Lake by the Civil Air Patrol and visual contact was made with the pilot.

The park helicopter was used to insert a parkmedic and investigators at the crash site. The pilot was treated and transported to the Ash Mountain helibase, where he was transferred to a waiting SkyLife air ambulance and flown to an area hospital.

The National Park Service is coordinating the investigation into the cause of the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.

The California Office of Emergency Services and Tulare County also assisted with this search and rescue operation.

Injured biker rescued – http://www.themountainmail.com/free_content/article_ffbfd77e-3f47-11e4-984f-0017a43b2370.html

Three rescued from downed plane – http://www.dvidshub.net/news/142188/alaska-air-national-guard-rescues-three-downed-plane#.VB-LHfnIL58

Pilot still missing – http://arcticjournal.com/politics/1002/still-no-sign-missing-pilot

Deputy missing, swept away – http://kxan.com/2014/09/18/rescuers-searching-for-person-reportedly-swept-away-in-waters/

Body of pilot recovered – http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/local/2014/09/20/plane-thermal-missing-civil-air-patrol-searching/15947451/

Body of missing boater recovered – http://www.starherald.com/news/local_news/body-of-missing-torrington-man-recovered-at-hawk-springs-reservoir/article_d0fba6cc-4116-11e4-b9fa-8b6ddcad2a2c.html