Guinne Stropes, Mountain Mail Intern, June 16, 2017
Chaffee County Search and Rescue North helped three people involved in medical emergencies Tuesday at the Zoom Flume rapid in Browns Canyon National Monument and Wednesday at Browns Lake.
“Tuesday we kicked off the river rescue season when a commercial raft client was thrown from a boat in the Zoom Flume rapid in Browns Canyon National Monument and required medical evacuation. We helped EMS get to the subject and we got the subject out,” Search and Rescue North posted on its Facebook page Wednesday.
Tom Waters, Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area operational manager, said the victim is a 75-year-old woman, but the situation is currently under investigation so no names may be released.
Search and Rescue North was called to Browns Lake by Mount Antero Wednesday after receiving a call at 2:15 p.m. about a medical emergency on the west end of the lake. A team of two hikers began the 6-mile hike to the location.
“They began to hike to the location of the 57-year-old male but determined, from descriptions of his condition given to them by other hikers, that the best and easiest way to get him down safely was to call for a helicopter,” said Scott Anderson, president of Chaffee County Search and Rescue North.
Tom Moore, a Search and Rescue North crew member, said the man was on a trip with a Boy Scout group from Texas.
A team of seven was sent up shortly after the first team but was delayed after discovering another group of hikers who were experiencing a medical emergency.
“One of the hikers, I think a teenage girl, was experiencing altitude sickness. One member of the team hiked the girl back to her base camp while the others continued to the original subject.
“It was later determined that she may need medical attention and to return to the trailhead,” Anderson said. He said he does not know if she received any medical attention.
“The first team of hikers made a call to REACH, Buena Vista’s local air medical service, but REACH was busy on another call and couldn’t help the man at the lake,” Anderson said. It took two more tries to get a helicopter to the scene.
“Then they called Flight for Life in Colorado Springs and a helicopter was dispatched to their location. However, on the way to Browns Lake, the helicopter was diverted due to a medical emergency. Summit County Flight for Life dispatched a helicopter, and the man was in the air around 7 that evening,” Anderson said.
The helicopter landed on the north end of the lake in a somewhat marshy area, said Anderson.
Anderson said he is unaware of the current condition of the three individuals.