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NEWS | July 5, 2024

Oregon Guard Rescues Injured Hiker on Pacific Crest Trail

By Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office

SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon Army National Guard HH-60M Black Hawk helicopter and crew rescued a woman who was injured and stranded hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern Oregon June 23.

Working with the Klamath County Sheriff’s office and the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, the Oregon Army National Guard helped rescue the hiker. 

“As an experienced long-distance backpacker having completed several long trails, I was prepared with the essentials for several nights in the backcountry,” the hiker said. “While attempting to reroute around an impassable snowed-in section of trail, I found myself traversing unsafe shale chutes. Realizing the risk, I attempted to self-rescue by backtracking, falling on the chutes and suffering scrapes and bruises. Unable to safely navigate through the loose down-sloping rocks at high elevation and trusting my instincts regarding my safety, I called for assistance.” 

A technical rope team said there was no way to get above or below her without risking a rock slide. They reported she was conscious after her fall and had a strong mobile phone signal and battery.

“I carry a personal locator beacon, but having cell service, I advised my husband (who was across the country) of my situation and together we worked with the Klamath County Sheriff’s Department, Oregon Department of Emergency Management, and the Oregon Army National Guard to coordinate my rescue,” the hiker said.

The Army helicopter crew departed the Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem and arrived in Roseburg to refuel and pick up a flight medic en route to the site.

The National Guard crew hoisted the injured hiker into the helicopter at 7:47 p.m. and flew her to Medford Airport, where emergency medical services met her.
She had severely bruised legs and back issues but was not visibly bleeding.

“Without the air rescue expertise of the Oregon Army National Guard, this SAR mission would have been impossible to accomplish so efficiently,” said Scott Lucas, state SAR coordinator.

After refueling in Medford, the four-member Oregon Army National Guard crew returned to Salem just before midnight.

 

 

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