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Mount Rainier Rangers Rescue Man From Vehicle In River

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avatar Mount Rainier Rangers Rescue Man From Vehicle In River
June 18, 2010 01:02PM
Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Rangers Rescue Man From Vehicle In River

On June 5th, an SUV driven by park visitor Gerald Goit of Seattle went off the Nisqually-Paradise road south of Longmire and down a 40-foot embankment, landing upside down in the Nisqually River. Goit was uninjured but was trapped by his seat belt as water rushed into the partially submerged vehicle. The water temperature of the glacially fed river is in the high 40’s and low 50’s and Goit was becoming hypothermic. Six to eight motorists who had stopped and entered the river tried unsuccessfully to help get him out of his SUV. Rangers Peter Maggio and Paul Harrington arrived on scene approximately three minutes after the car entered the river. Arriving moments later were several television crews who were in the park to cover an upper mountain SAR that was in progress. Maggio donned rescue gear, including a dry suit and safety line, and entered the water to assist the motorists who were attempting to free Goit. From the back of the vehicle, Maggio was able to see Goit struggling to keep his head above water. With the assistance of rangers on shore, Maggio secured a line to the back of the upside down vehicle in order to stabilize it. Water flow into the vehicle increased, though, creating an imminent threat to Goit of drowning. Maggio decided he needed to take immediate action and climbed through the broken back window of the vehicle and up to where Goit was trapped. After several attempts, he was able to reach and cut Goit’s seat belt, thus freeing him. Maggio, with the assistance of the other motorists in the water, were able to remove Goit from the vehicle and get him to shore. While Goit was being treated for hypothermia, rangers coordinated the landing of a helicopter that was in the area for another in-park SAR. Goit was flown to the park’s helibase, where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance. He made a full recovery and was released from the hospital that night. Stefan Lofgren served as IC on this rescue. Footage of the rescue can be seen at the link below.
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