Hypothermia, help, and hoisting: All in a day’s work

From the Sheriff’s Newsletter

On March 15, the King County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue and the Air Support Unit flew a rescue mission to Snow Lake, northwest of the Alpental Ski Area. The reported person in distress was vomiting, dehydrated, could not walk out on their own, and was a member of a 10-person back country ski group.

Rescue helicoptor view of the rescue site.

As crewmembers gathered at the hangar in Renton, the necessary snow gear was loaded into the rescue helicopter and the crew briefed on the mission at hand. The rescue crew launched and reached the scene in about 20 minutes.

After a scouting mission to locate a safe hoisting location, and then another safer location, the crew worked on lowering down a medic. After his initial assessment of the situation and finding there was another person in need, an additional rescue specialist was lowered down to assist in the waist deep snow and steep terrain. After a medical evaluation, one person was fit enough to ski out while the other was not. This person was hoisted via a rescue harness, transported to the Summit West Parking Lot and then transported via aid car.

“This is another incredible example of the work that KCSO does to keep our community members safe,” the Sheriff’s Office said.