Man rescued after 50-foot fall from cliff
June 20, 2009
A man in his mid-30’s was rescued by helicopter from the South Yuba River canyon Friday afternoon after falling 50 feet from a narrow trail located about a half-mile downstream from Edwards Crossing.
The unidentified man is believed to have a fractured pelvis, wrist and ribs, said Nevada County Consolidated Fire Chief Tim Fike.
The man fell about 30 to 40 feet from the trail before dropping another 10 vertical feet onto a rock, Fike said.
“He just lost his balance. It’s a narrow trail and he kind of tumbled down,” said Josh Sunde, engineer from Station 54 in Nevada City.
Using a rope system, crews lowered themselves, a wire stokes basket (modern gurney) and medical equipment down to the man who had facial lacerations, scrapes, bruises and broken bones.
“He was pretty banged up,” as anyone would be falling off a cliff, Sunde added. The man was conscious and talked to crews when they arrived.
A friend who was hiking with the man called emergency personnel from Diamond Arrow campground. There is no cell phone service in the river canyon.
Rescuers from Nevada County Consolidated Fire and Station 54 in Nevada City responded along with State Park rangers.
A California Highway Patrol helicopter air-lifted the man to Diamond Arrow Campground where an air ambulance was waiting in a soccer field to take him to Sutter-Roseville Medical Center.
Helicopter rescues are common place in the South Yuba River canyon during the summer months when hundreds of people flock there to recreate.
“We’re probably in there bi-weekly come summertime,” said Kevin Neeley, a CHP flight officer and paramedic. “We practice that religiously.”
Two people drowned in the river earlier this spring when water was rushing fast and cold with melted snow.
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