The Coast Guard airlifted a hiker on Saturday who broke his ankle in Olympic National Park and then crawled for eight hours to reach cell phone service.
In a prepared statement emailed to Navy Times, Coast Guard officials said that the unidentified 26-year-old man fractured his ankle on the Duckabush Trail, west of Hood Canal in the state of Washington.
After he called 911, a Jefferson County search and rescue team located him around 4 a.m., provided first aid and prepped him for medevac.
A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew launched at first light and was hoisting the man around 7 a.m. to fly him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was listed in stable condition.
“We like to train for high-altitude rescues because of the mountainous region we operate in,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sam Hill, MH-65 pilot, Air Station Port Angeles, in the statement.
“Because of that training, we were able to overcome numerous environmental challenges to rescue the hiker from a dangerous situation. We thank Jefferson County Search and Rescue for their help locating the hiker and assisting with the hoist.”
Adm. Karl Schultz's annual State of the Coast Guard speech touched on the challenges facing a sea service that also notches many triumphs.