NORTH BEND, Ore. — Coast Guard assisted Josephine and Curry County Search and Rescue personnel in the rescue of a female hiker near the Illinois River Trail, about 7 miles south of Agness, Sunday.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend hoisted the hiker and safely transferred her to emergency medical personnel waiting at Grants Pass Airport. She was then taken to Asante Three River Medical Center, where she was last reported in stable condition.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received the request for assistance at 5:10 p.m., Saturday, from Oregon Emergency Management personnel after Josephine County personnel made a request with them for an aviation asset due to the difficult terrain.
The hiker had reportedly injured her head and leg, and an airlift was determined to be the safest way to get her to further medical care.
The Coast Guard aircrew launched around 8 p.m. and made an initial rescue attempt, but was unsuccessful due to terrain and visibility. The crew returned to North Bend in order to prepare for another attempt during daylight hours.
A Curry County SAR team member that was familiar with the area successfully reached the hiker, treating her for non-life-threatening injuries and remaining with her over night.
A second attempt was made with a Dolphin aircrew that launched at 10:27 a.m., Sunday. They arrived on scene around 11:30 a.m. and lowered a rescue swimmer, who provided additional medical care and prepared the hiker for extraction. The hiker was then safely hoisted and transferred to EMS.