(PatriotWise.com) — A hiker whose legs got stuck under a boulder estimated to weigh about 10,000 pounds was rescued after a painstaking seven hours and airlifted to a Fresno hospital, NBC News reported.
The man was hiking the Inyo Mountains in California on December 5 when the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that he had gotten trapped under a boulder near Independence.
The sheriff’s office contacted the Inyo County Search and Rescue, a group of volunteer rescuers, who, with the help of a California Highway Patrol chopper and the sheriff’s office, were airlifted after dark to the area below Santa Rita Flat.
According to a press release from the Search and Rescue group’s Facebook page, the man was eventually found on a steep hillside “in great pain” with his left leg trapped beneath a boulder that was estimated to weigh anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 pounds.
Using a system of ropes and pullies along with leverage bars, the rescuers were able to shift the boulder. Due to the rough terrain and because the hiker’s injuries were serious, the rescuers decided not to wait until daylight to evacuate him from the location. Instead, they airlifted him out using a helicopter from the US Navy Air Station at Lemoore.
Without a suitable landing zone for the helicopter, a Navy medic rappelled to the scene, and the injured hiker was lifted to the helicopter. The hiker was then flown to a hospital in Fresno at around midnight.
The sheriff’s office did not identify the hiker and had not reported on his current condition.
According to Inyo County Search and Rescue, the rescuers remained with the hiker for hours while they awaited the Navy helicopter. The group returned to its base in Bishop, California, around 4:00 a.m.
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