TUCSON, Ariz. – A hiker on Mt. Lemon fell nearly 40 feet Tuesday afternoon and suffered multiple injuries, causing an Air and Marine Operations helicopter crew to conduct its second rescue mission in two consecutive days.
Monday, an AMO crew rescued a man who became distressed as he hiked on the Pima Canyon trail in the Catalina Mountains about a mile north of the trailhead in a rugged ravine.
Shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday, AMO agents from the Tucson Air Branch responded to a report that a 24-year-old woman had taken a serious fall on Mt. Lemon’s Butterfly Trail. Although the woman remained conscious, the Pima County Sheriff Department’s Search and Rescue team requested an air evacuation from the trail due to its significant slope and surrounding trees and vegetation.
After receiving the call for assistance, AMO agents responded in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter equipped with a HOIST device capable of lowering and lifting equipment and personnel from the helicopter. The hiker was secured in a medical litter and lifted to the helicopter for further medical attention from EMT trained AMO crewmembers. Agents then transported the woman to a nearby location where advanced medical personnel were standing by.
“This is the second rescue in two days that illustrates how AMO stands ready to work with our state and local partners,” said Tucson Air Branch Director Mitch Pribble.
AMO routinely responds to requests for assistance with searches and rescues in coordination with partner law enforcement agencies. Rescue operations like this are considered high-risk, given the altitude and treacherous terrain. Using specialized equipment and training, AMO provides a highly specialized capability in conducting these types of rescues. This was the second rescue in two days, as AMO agents had conducted a similar rescue the previous day.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Video available upon request.)
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