A hiker's harrowing rescue, dangling from helicopter
Simone Del Rosario
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A hiker dangling from a helicopter -- seven hours after Sheriff's Search and Rescue get a call that she's in danger, stranded and hurt.
She's lost somewhere in the Catalina Mountains. The rescue started around noon.
"We're waiting for Sheriff One to get here, our helicopter, to insert us up in the Finger Rock area to search for her and provide medical aid to a hiker in distress," Pima County Sheriff's Michael Johnson said.
Using the hiker's sporadic cell phone signal to narrow her location, search teams on foot and in choppers circle around Finger Rock Trail. The 9-1-1 call letting them know she's badly hurt, but not where she is.
"What we do know is it appears she may be going in and out of consciousness, so there is definitely a concern for her well-being," Deputy Tom Peine said.
More than five hours after the first call to 9-1-1, the Department of Public Safety crew spots the hiker from their chopper, waving a white towel and rocking back in forth in pain.
Once a medic assesses the hiker, DPS heads back to the helipad to ready the chopper for rescue, taking off the doors to be able to haul her out of the canyon.
"She was really tired, dehydrated, had some back contusions and needs to be short-hauled out with C-spine precautions so we're now preparing for that and getting ready to go," DPS pilot Clifford said.
They take off back into the mountains and finally reappear with the rescued hiker dangling from the helicopter. They lower her where crews are waiting to get her in an ambulance and off to the hospital.
Search; Find; Rescue. A hiker hurt and dehydrated, but alive.