Injured Hunter Rescued
October 31, 2017
According to a news release issued by the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, at 7:41 PM, a cell phone contact was established with the missing hunters who advised that one in the party had fallen in steep terrain near Dude Mountain and had injured his ankle. The injured hunter was identified by the Alaska State Troopers as Harold Zurlo, age 36 of Ketchikan.
The steep terrain prevented Zurlo from getting down to his partner but Zurlo was in voice contact with his partner. Zurlo advised the injury to his ankle prevented him from standing and he was at the top of a cliff and unable to move back up the mountain.
According to the KVRS' press release, there were concerns the Zurlo was not prepared for an overnight stay and weather conditions were expected t deteriorate by early morning.
At 9:08 Monday evening, a team was dispatched from the Brown Mountain Trailhead and they made contact with Zurlo at 10:27 PM. Due to darkness, the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad requested the United States Coast Guard send H60 helicopter from USCG Air Station Sitka to hoist Zurlo off the mountain. The rescue team assisted Zurlo down the trail while other embers of the rescue team sheltered Zurlo until the helicopter arrived at 12:16 AM early Tuesday morning.
The uninjured hunter arrived safely at the Brown Mountain Trailhead at 12:26 AM, Tuesday morning.
Deployment of a SPOT Beacon and solid emergency contact information was key in the rapid deployment of search and rescue assets in the case according the KVRS. While Coast Guard assets are not always available, with the information provided by beacons, rescuers can access an accident site with the supplies necessary to shelter victims and prevent hypothermia. KVRS regularly works with Temsco Helicopters in rescue cases but Temsco Helicopters in not able to preform rescues at night.
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Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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