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Helicopters rescue 2 injured hikers from ravine in Olympic National Park

olympic1SEATTLE — Two Coast Guard helicopter crews from separate units worked together Wednesday to rescue two injured hikers who had fallen 50 feet into a ravine in Olympic National Park, about 30 miles south of Port Angeles.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received notification at about 7:30 a.m. that a personal locator beacon had been activated near the center of the park, a Coast Guard news release said. At the time, there was believed to be a single hiker stranded.

The hiker, a 19-year-old man, was able to establish communications with Olympic National Park rangers using a satellite phone. He said he had fallen into a ravine and his condition was deteriorating.

Rangers determined that rescue crews would have to hike about 12 miles to reach the stranded hiker. So Olympic National Park requested the Coast Guard medically evacuate the hiker just before 11 a.m.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched from Air Station Port Angeles at about 12:09 p.m.

Another Coast Guard helicopter, an MH-60 Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., was in the vicinity of Port Ludlow, Wash., at the time. The crew was diverted to assist in the rescue and act as a communications platform.

The Dolphin helicopter crew arrived on scene and lowered a rescue swimmer and a litter to transport the patient. It was then discovered by the crew that a second hiker, who had sustained minor injuries, was also in the ravine.

Both hikers were hoisted by the Dolphin crew and transported to Air Station Port Angeles. They were then taken by ambulance to the Olympic Memorial Hospital in Port Angeles.

Their conditions were not immediately known.

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