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Rangers Rescue Man Following 300-Foot Fall

Crater Lake National Park

National Park News

On Monday morning July 11, 2011, 27-year-old Eric Brimlow from Syracuse, New York fell from the rim of the Crater Lake caldera in Crater Lake National Park. He was traveling in the park with friends when he went beyond a barrier wall along the walkway leading to the park's Sinnott Memorial overlook and jumped onto a snow bank. Eyewitness accounts indicate that the man slid head first down a snow chute, past  50 feet of vertical cliffs and several hundred feet of very steep, rocky terrain.  Brimlow came to rest at the base of a tree 300 feet below the caldera rim. The incident was reported at 10:30 a.m. that morning, and park rangers immediately initiated a complex, high-angle technical rescue. Rangers hoisted the patient from the nearly-vertical terrain to a small ledge so he could be loaded into a litter and raised to the crater rim. At the crater rim, rescuers worked through an additional complication by placing extension ladders across the gap of a deep snow moat separating the rock wall and snow field, allowing them to slide the litter evenly across. Brimlow suffered serious injuries. He was evacuated from the caldera wall and transported via helicopter to the Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, Oregon. Mercy Flights from Medford, Oregon and Chiloquin Ambulance assisted 49 park staff members in the complex rescue operations. Jason Jenks, supervisory forest technician, was the incident commander.


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