The coordinated response between eight local and federal agencies led to the successful rescue of a 57-year old Grays Harbor man late Monday morning.
Grays Harbor E911 received a report at about 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon of a hiker with a broken leg in the Olympic National Park.
Grays Harbor Fire District #2 says the report was made by fellow hikers who hiked back out from the wilderness area around the southern portion of Mount Hoquiam to their vehicles and then drove to the Wynoochee Dam Public Use area to make the call.
The actual injury took place at about 11:00 a.m.
Personnel from Grays Harbor Fire District 2 and Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area to make contact with the reporting hikers.
The terrain in the area was described as extremely steep and rugged.
Due to weather conditions creating poor visibility for helicopter crews, the decision was made to shelter the patient for the night.
Personnel from the Olympic Mountain Rescue team and Navy rescuers travelled to the patient after dark to bring them additional water, food and sleeping bags.
All five of the responders remained with patient and his climbing companion throughout the night.
Navy medics provided care for the patient and prepared him for transport the next day.
As a ground crew made their way towards the shelter site the next day, the weather began to improve providing a short window of opportunity for Coast Guard and Navy helicopters to rescue the patient and pick up rescuers.
Coast Guard Station Astoria helicopter crews transported the patient to the Olympia airport where he was transported by ambulance to St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
Grays Harbor Fire District #2 says the rescue of hiker would not been successful without the cooperation of all of the agencies.
Incident command and coordination for this roughly 26-hour search and rescue mission was provided in partnership between Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Department, Grays Harbor Fire District 2 and the Olympic National Park.