Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Sector Puget Sound received an agency assist request from King County emergency management officials at about 4 p.m. Sunday concerning a hiker who sustained critical head and leg injuries when an approximately 6-foot-wide and 6-foot-tall boulder rolled onto him as he descended down the east side of Iron Cap Mountain.
It was reported that after the accident, the injured hiker’s companion hiked to higher ground to find cell phone service and call 911 for help. It was also relayed that she is a nursing student and used her skills to apply a tourniquet to the man’s leg to control bleeding. She also said he was struggling to remain conscious.
Due to the hikers’ elevation of 6,200 feet, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, Air Station Astoria, in Oregon deployed at about 5 p.m. as the most timely and capable asset to rescue the hiker, while Sector Puget Sound watchstanders assisted with communication relay between the hikers, King County officials and the rescue aircrew.
The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew located the hikers shortly after 6 p.m. and deployed two rescue swimmers to prepare and help the hiker into the stokes liter for medevac into the helicopter. The injured man’s hiking companion was also hoisted into the helicopter to accompany him.
The hiker and passenger were flown to Harborview Medical Center where the hiker’s care was transferred to awaiting medical services personnel. He is reported to be in stable condition.