Search and Rescue teams spend Christmas rescuing hikers

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Search and Rescue volunteers waded across a river to rescue
a hiker who was injured by falling ice at Franklin Falls
Photo courtesy KCSO

I used to work for a very small company that was full of skiers and hikers. They spent a lot of energy trying to convince me to take up skiing, ignoring my protests of bad knees. Two of the skiers - who spent every weekend in the mountains - were search and rescue volunteers.

So I have an idea of what it takes to do this job and a great appreciation for those who do it. It's not nearly as much fun as a downhill run and a great deal more work. The risks can be high but the rewards can mean saving a life.


This is from the King County Sheriff's Office:

More than 50 volunteer members from King County’s Search and Rescue Unit spent much of Christmas Day and evening rescuing hikers in the mountains off of I90. The first mission was spent searching for a lost hiker near Rattlesnake Ledge Trail.  The second involved rescuing a hiker who had been injured from falling ice near Franklin Falls, and the third was finding a man who became lost hiking the Mt. Si trail.

While many of us were home enjoying Christmas day more than 50 King County Search and Rescue volunteers spent much of the day hiking through snow and water to help hikers in the mountains during three different missions in the mountains near I90.

King County Search and Rescue received the first call around 2pm near Rattlesnake Ledge Trail. A group was hiking the trail when a man became separated from the group. 911 was called when the man did not show up at the summit. 19 Search and Rescue members showed up for the search. The man was found hiking down the trail as the rescue teams were headed up to look for him.

1972 PinzGauer snow vehicle owned by
a member of Search and Rescue
Photo courtesy KCSO
The second rescue call came in during the first search. Three Search and Rescue members were testing a new snow vehicle, a 1972 PinzGauer, which is privately owned by a Search and Rescue member. The group was flagged down by some citizens who said a hiker had been injured by falling ice near Franklin Falls. Search and Rescue members hiked to the falls, waded through the water and contacted the victim. (see photo above) The victim had sustained a hip injury from the falling ice.

More than 30 members responded to help carry the victim through the steam and down to a rescue vehicle which transported him to a waiting ambulance. The new snow vehicle was used to shuttle rescue members up the road as close to the falls as possible.

The third call came in during the Franklin Falls mission. A man who had been hiking the Mt. Si Trail had become lost on his way down the trail. When it became dark and he could not find the trail he called 911. 14 Search and Rescue members responded to find him and bring him down safely.

Our volunteer Search and Rescue members make a huge difference in our community. They use their own vehicles, equipment, time and money for the benefit of others. They are a gift that keeps on giving!


Janet Way December 29, 2016 at 9:58 AM  

What an amazing photo! Kudos to these intrepid rescuers!

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