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Woman Rescued After Three Hours Caught In SEKI Stream

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avatar Woman Rescued After Three Hours Caught In SEKI Stream
June 17, 2011 01:38PM
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Woman Rescued After Three Hours Caught In Park Stream

On Tuesday, a 52-year-old woman headed out from the Farewell Gap trailhead on a solo day hike as part of her training for an ultra-marathon. She hiked up Farewell Canyon, crossing Franklin Creek on a snow bridge. On her return trip, the snow bridge collapsed underneath her and she fell into the creek. She was swept downstream under the snow for 30 to 40 feet before being able to stop herself. She stood up in the creek under the snow, but had no access to the surface. Using her hands, she dug through about five feet of snow and created a small hole, then threw her backpack out of the hole. It was seen there by other visitors, who went to examine the pack and found the woman under the snow nearby. By that time, she'd been trapped in the creek under snow for over three hours and was hypothermic and incoherent. One person pulled her out while another went back to the trailhead to summon help; the other members of the group helped warm her. Rangers and a park helicopter with a medic on board were dispatched to the scene. When the rangers arrived, the woman declined either evacuation or medical assistance. The rangers helped her return to the trailhead.
avatar Re: Woman Rescued After Three Hours Caught In SEKI Stream
June 17, 2011 02:21PM
Wow. She's tough.

I know someone who had the same thing happen to him, but he was riding over a spring creek snow bridge on a snowmobile. He feel about ten feet down into fast running water, holding onto the snowmobile so he didn't get swept under the snow like this lady did. With a broken forearm he spent three hours digging up and out of the hold, and then however much time it took to walk out to pavement about two miles distant. There, where a gas station is, he called his brother from a phone booth, (before cell phones), and then, with hypothermia passed out where his brother found him laying on the ground. He woke up at the ER of the local hospital. They had to abandon the snowmobile and recovered it in spring. It was submerged so long the had to sell it for parts.

This woman's story is amazing. She is a survivor. If those people hadn't stopped by she'd be dead.
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