Helicopter crews have handled five rescues in six days, including that of a Loomis teen who tumbled down a waterfall and a Fairfield hiker who may have fractured his leg when he fell in rocky terrain.
The spate of rescues in the Sierra Nevada by the California Highway Patrol Valley Division helicopter crews appear to mark an early start to the rescue season.
Both rescues occurred Tuesday, according to a CHP public information flight officer who provided summaries of the incidents:
A 33-year-old hiker from Fairfield was rock hopping between boulders above Cascade Falls in the South Lake Tahoe area when he slipped and suffered a possible broken leg. The CHP crew found the hiker and directed ground crews to his location.
While rescuers on the ground prepared him to be lifted into the helicopter, the crew in the chopper readied the hoist. They then lifted the injured hiker and flew him to the Lake Tahoe Airport.
From there, he went by air ambulance to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.
A CHP chopper crew was asked to help rescue a 17-year-old near Horsetail Falls. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit, along with the Lake Valley Fire Protection District, needed help in finding the hiker from Loomis who had fallen into the water.
The boy had fallen about 40 feet down a waterfall, suffering trauma and losing consciousness. The helicopter crew found him at the 8,000-foot-elevation level.
The crew used a toe-in landing, allowing a CHP officer-paramedic to get out to assess the hiker’s condition.
Meanwhile, the helicopter returned to Strawberry Meadow to land so that equipment could be reconfigured for the hoist of the boy. Upon the helicopter’s return, the crew used 100 feet of cable to get him out of his predicament.
He was transported and then transferred to an air ambulance that took him to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.