Navy aids in rescue of hiker injured in Olympic National Park

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A 46-year-old Seattle man who was injured while hiking in Badger Valley near Obstruction Point south of Port Angeles was rescued after he managed to send a text to a friend.

A Navy helicopter crew from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island flew the man to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles to be treated for his injury Monday evening, a Navy spokesman said. He was not identified.

Penny Wagner, Olympic National Park spokeswoman, said the park sent a hasty team to search for the man after he sent a text to a friend asking for help.

She said the man was unable to put in a call to 9-1-1 himself because of a lack of cellphone reception, but he managed to find enough signal to send the text.

The friend called for help and the park sent a team to help at about 3:08 p.m. The man was on his way to OMC by about 8 p.m., Wagner said.

“It was a fairly quick pickup rescue,” Wagner said. “He was able to get that text out, which was now the notification process started.”

She said the search team had little information to work with.

All they knew was that he was near Obstruction Point and that he had a one-day backcountry camping permit for Grand Lake.

“None of the hikers rangers contacted had seen him,” she said. “We didn’t know where to go.”

Wagner said that searchers were wearing brightly colored clothing, which made it easier for the man to see them. Once he saw the search teams he worked to catch their attention.

She was uncertain about how he was injured.

It would have been difficult to get the man out of the area on foot due to the steep terrain, she said. That was what led to officials asking for a helicopter.

“It would have been a technical carry-out,” she said. “It was really steep.”

Wagner said this incident is just one of many rescues in the park this year and that this year alone has already seen a 30 percent increase in rescues when compared to the same period last year.

As of May 30, there had already been 20 search and rescues, 13 of which involved helicopters, she said.

Wagner said it isn’t clear why the park has seen such an increase, but she said people who go into the park should be prepared for what they may encounter.

She said that the man was well prepared and had his backcountry permit.

“Those were all the right things to do,” she said.

She recommended having personal locating beacons and a device that can be used to send out a message if there is trouble.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

More in News

Port Angeles 10th Street work slow but steady

Crews are making “steady progress” on 10th Street reconstruction… Continue reading

Jefferson County trespassing ordinance discussed

Jefferson County commissioners have sent a proposed Facility Trespass… Continue reading

Work begins on Jefferson Street sidewalk extension in Port Townsend

Work has begun on the Jefferson Street Sidewalk Extension… Continue reading

Speed limit cut proposed for Shine Road

The safety concerns of Shine Road residents have sparked… Continue reading

NEWS BRIEFS: School gets locked down by gunshots … and other items

The Quilcene School District was locked down Wednesday afternoon for… Continue reading

Port of Port Angeles panel approves $10.2 million budget

Connie Beauvais split from her two Port of Port… Continue reading

State unemployment rate falls again

Washington state added 12,400 jobs in October and the state’s seasonally adjusted… Continue reading

State superintendent to speak in Port Angeles

A community forum with state Superintendent Chris Reykdal is… Continue reading

Most Read