Helicopter Rescue On The Bold Coast Trail In Cutler - Aug. 02, 2013
CUTLER, Maine (WQDY) - Multiple agencies put their collective expertise together on Thursday to rescue an injured hiker in a rugged area of Cutler.
Jeff Currier, Regional Forest Ranger told WQDY NEWS the Maine Forest Service assisted the Maine Warden Service, Machias EMS and firefighters from the NCTMS-Cutler (US Navy) fire department and Cutler Volunteer Fire Department on the Bold Coast Trail in Cutler.
"The victim, a 52-year-old male hiker experienced some medical difficulty. It came in as a possible diabetic shock. He was about three to four miles down the trail when another member of his party called 911. Rescuers took about three hours to get to him -- it's very rugged, it's a very long trail and ver hard going and they asked the Maine Forest Service if they'd be willing to come down with a helicopter to help extract the person out of the woods," Currier told us.
"The technique that we use for extracting people is a new one to our department but certainly not new around the country and around the world -- it's called helicopter short haul. Essentially, we're able to fly in a rescuer hung beneath the helicopter on a very strong, well-designed rope system and we're able to lift parties out of their point of injury and carry them a vaery short distance as human external cargo to the next level of medical care. In this case, it was the Machias Ambulance Service," Currier added.
"He was a 200-pound man and was unable to walk and would have needed to be carried so we're estimating that it would have taken four to five hours to carry him out."
The Bold Coast Rail is quite bold
"It's very rugged country. It may not have that appearance even on a topographical map but many of us have been on rescues there before," said Currier.
"It's a long, hard carry -- especially when you're carrying another human because the trail is only so wide, much of it is through marshy areas, some of it is boardwalk that's very narrow. We use this as we do in other remote places in the state as a method for getting people out quickly and it's been very successful."
STORY: Tom McLaughlin WQDY-WALZ firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL PICTURES: Courtesy of the Maine Forest Service