Successful Rescue at Gorton Creek
Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
On January 22nd, 2021, at approximately 4:00 PM, Hood River County 911 received a call regarding a male subject on the Gorton Creek Trail who needed medical attention. Two hikers had come across the injured male less than a mile from the trailhead, and reported that he was conscious and breathing, but confused, injured and possibly hypothermic. They initially started to help the injured male down the trail, but he was unable to continue under his own power.
Deputies with the Hood River County Sheriff's Office responded initially, as did Troopers from the Oregon State Police and the Cascade Locks Fire Department. U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement responded as well. An HRCSO deputy, OSP Trooper, and Cascade Locks Fire volunteers went up the trail and located the subject, who was reported to have been hiking in the area since at least Tuesday. The area that he was located in was at the base of a fifty-foot cliff. According to what responders were able to elicit from the subject, he had fallen down that cliff and possibly others as well.
Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers with the Hood River Crag Rats and Pacific Northwest SAR were called out and responded to the area. Due to hazardous trail conditions and the reported trauma suffered by the injured hiker, the decision was made to request a helicopter extraction. The Coast Guard responded with an MH-60 Jayhawk from Air Station Columbia River, arriving in the area at approximately 6:45 PM. The injured hiker was successfully taken aboard the helicopter and transported to Legacy Emanuel and was reported by the USCG to be in stable condition on arrival.
Search & Rescue Coordinator Deputy Chris Guertin said, "He was extremely fortunate. Had those hikers not located him, he had a very low chance of survival through the night. The work of the search and rescue teams, first responders, and the quick response from the Coast Guard led to a successful outcome today."
We are grateful for the hikers who located the injured man and got help coming. A big thank you to the Hood River Crag Rats, Pacific NW SAR, Cascade Locks Fire, the U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon State Police and the U.S. Forest Service.