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Video: USCG Rescues Hiker Crushed By Rolling Boulder

boulder medevac iron cap mountain
Video still courtesy USCG

By The Maritime Executive 08-17-2020 02:14:22

Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a hiker who had been crushed by a boulder on Iron Cap Mountain, Washington, just east of Seattle. 

Coast Guard Sector Sector Puget Sound received a request from King County emergency management officials at about 1600 hours last Sunday. The local agency reported that a male hiker had suffered serious head and leg injuries when a six-foot by six-foot boulder rolled onto him on the east side of Iron Cap Mountain. 

After the accident, the injured hiker's companion hiked to higher ground to find cell phone service and call 911 for help. Luckily for the hiker, she was a nursing student, and she put a tourniquet on his leg to control the bleeding. In the 911 call, she said that he was struggling to stay conscious. 

Remote Iron Cap Mountain tops out at about 6,350 feet, and the scene of the casualty was at about 6,200 feet. Due to the altitude, the response coordinators decided to deploy a heavier MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter out of Sector Columbia River, about 140 miles to the southwest. The aircrew located the victim at about 1800 hours and deployed two rescue swimmers (onto land), who helped to load him into a stokes litter for hoisting. The hiker's companion was also hoisted aboard. 

Both were transferred to Harborview Medical Center, where the victim received further treatment. He was in stable condition after delivery. 

The summer season brings a regular stream of hiking rescues in the Pacific Northwest. On Sunday, a Dolphin aircrew rescued a suspected stroke victim outside of Coos Bay, Oregon. The same day, another Dolphin aircrew hoisted a hiker who had been injured in a fall in Olympic National Park, Washington. 

Dolphin aircrew hoists a suspected stroke victim outside of Coos Bay, Oregon, August 16 (USCG)

Dolphin aircrew hoists a hiker who suffered injuries in a fall outside of Hoh, Washington, August 16 (USCG)