Emergency Crews Rescue Injured Hiker

A 70-year-old injured hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail, near Silverwood Lake, had to be airlifted from the trail after falling about 60 feet on New Year’s Day. Emergency personnel responded to a 9-1-1 call about 8 p.m. (File Photo)

By Michael P. Neufeld

Silverwood Lake, CA -  An injured hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) was rescued by emergency personnel New Year’s Day.

The unidentified 70-year-old hiker was injured on the PCT west of Silverwood Lake, according to a media release issued by San Bernardino County Fire.

THE INCIDENT

The initial call to 9-1-1 was received about 8 p.m. on New Year’s Day from two hikers who stated the man had fallen an unknown distance off the trail.

Emergency crews from County Fire and Crest Forest Fire, outfitted with rescue equipment, followed a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy who had already started hiking to the victim. The location of the injured hiker was based on GPS plotting of the cellphone call.The search began in the area of the Rio Baranca Valley Campground where the PCT nears Cleghorn Road.

The injured man was located about two miles up the PCT between Cleghorn Road and U. S. Forest Service Road 2N47. The media release indicates the man fell about 60-feet, through heavy brush, and sustained minor injuries. Conditions in the area, including the lack of light and general disorientation prevented the hiker from ascending back up the trail. Temperatures in the area at the time of the incident were reportedly in the upper 20′s.

HELICOPTER HOIST

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department dispatched a patrol helicopter with hoist capability and the crew utilized night vision goggles to retrieve the injured man. He was transported to an awaiting ambulance and taken to an area hospital for an evaluation of his injuries, according to the release.

WORDS OF CAUTION

Emergency responders remind individuals venturing into the wilderness to never hike alone, avoid hiking in unfamiliar territory at night, tell others of your intended route and expected return time, and wear clothing appropriate for environmental conditions.

Hikers are also urged to carry adequate water and supplies in the event of an emergency.

 

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