Commendable, but that’s still a loooong time to go past the golden hour.There was a nurse on board another helicopter tour that helped until rescue arrived.
Lots of very remote mountainous areas that are still very much "in sight of the city" around here. We get injured people all the time, USCs a lot of them, out on hikes, climbing, etc, who suffer falls, and require some kind of technical rescue even though they're really not that far straight-line distance wise from civilization. If county/state assets aren't available, then we go in to make the rescue. But it's not usually quick, it's normally a very time consuming iteration. Gaining access especially if units are not already on scene, and especially if we make the rescue but aren't the asset taking the patient to the hospital (patient transloaded to another helo or to a ground ambulance after we make the rescue).Commendable, but that’s still a loooong time to go past the golden hour.
I think the general ease that people can reach and see places like the Grand Canyon today unfortunately set up an idea that you aren’t much further from civilization than the actual reality. “It’s just a few miles” might as well be “it’s just the distance to the moon” in the wrong terrain/weather. Same goes for people on the open water.
God speed in their recovery though.
I couldn't agree more, the easy access to the parks is great but it leads so many to forget the Mother Nature is a cruel teacher.I think the general ease that people can reach and see places like the Grand Canyon today unfortunately set up an idea that you aren’t much further from civilization than the actual reality. “It’s just a few miles” might as well be “it’s just the distance to the moon” in the wrong terrain/weather. Same goes for people on the open water.
I will never forget your (her) story and how quickly things can go south on a seemingly normal day.I couldn't agree more, the easy access to the parks is great but it leads so many to forget the Mother Nature is a cruel teacher.
I was speaking to my mother in law recently about Sarah's death there this summer, with the official SAR report and speaking with the man who found the kids, I know that she never had a chance. My MIL was upset that no rescue was begun until the next morning, she had no idea that helicopters couldn't fly in that area at night. People have no idea just how dark things get outside the city lights.
Sarah was last seen by a campground employee who was hiking out for his days off at 1600. She told him that she was in trouble and had left the kids about a half mile up the trail. He told her to stay put and he would go get the kids. For some unknown reason she continued on toward the camp. Once the man found the kids, gave them some snacks and water he brought them back to the campsite. When he arrived at the campground at 1730 he discovered that Sarah hadn't arrived. The campground staff immediately initiated a hasty search along the main trails up and down the river, but by 1830 it is already getting dark in the bottom of the canyon and they couldn't venture off trail. The full SAR operation was launched first thing the next morning which was when I was notified, and her body was found about 1400 the second day. The autopsy didn't state a time of death, but knowing what I know about heat stroke, she was likely unconscious or even dead by the time that the kids made it to the campground.
Sarah was physically fit, well prepared for the hike, left in plenty of time to make it to the campground, and had the recommended amount of water. She had been briefed to be off the trail by 1200 in order to avoid the hottest part of the day. The critical link in the accident chain was the fact that her nephew who came along with her had never been on a serious hike before. Apparently he was setting a very slow pace which slowed them down which was why they were on the trail so late and ran out of water. I think that if it had just been Sarah and my daughter, they would have been fine, but she underestimated how long the hike would take with someone she had never worked with before.
Many laypeople don't understand that SAR isn't a bunch of miracle workers who can beam to their location on a moments notice. There are so many factors, both within control as well as outside control, that can easily affect response times to get to someone. Sometimes things can go quick, oftentimes they can't.I always get a lot of grief from my friends but I always take enough stuff on a day hike that I wouldn’t be killed by staying overnight. It doesn’t take much to be prepared but it is amazing how little people know about the outdoors before they venture out. We recently had a forest fire just outside of Portland that stranded a bunch of day hikers. And on they news they were complaining that search and rescue couldn’t get them out sooner.