10/04/2017: "Orcas Hiker Rescued On Summit Trail"
October 4, 2017. 530pm. Crews from Orcas Island Fire and Rescue units have been on scene since approximately 10:00am for a stranded hiker in the Northwest corner of Mountain Lake.
A person hiking the area of Summit Trail in search of a lost dog went off trail and found themselves stranded on a steep cliff area they were unable to either ascend or descend safely out of. The hiker was able to get cell phone service and contacted dispatch for assistance.
Rescue units on scene were able to have the cell phone tracked to a general location and ultimately made voice contact with the hiker at approximately 11:40am. In spite of having cell phone tracking and voice contact, the terrain made for exact location unable to be made until approximately 1:00pm.
Once visual contact was made, it was determined the hiker was uninjured but was, indeed, stranded. Rescue units were positioned both above and below the hiker and a rappel team descended to the hikers location, making physical contact at approximately 2:00pm.
The hiker and the rescue units were able to be lowered to safety and are currently hiking out of the area. Twelve OIFR members, three Parks Department Crew, and one Sheriff’s Deputy assisted in this lengthy rescue. Island Air offered support from the air if necessary.
The coordinated response resulted in both a successful rescue as well as no injuries to either the hiker or any responder. All crew members as well as the hiker are expected to be cleared from the scene within the hour.
Orcas Island Fire and Rescue would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to remain on marked trails at all times and to keep dogs secured on a leash when taking them along. OIFR thanks the volunteers, staff and other agencies who assisted in this rescue.