Guam – A cross country hiker with head and neck injuries was hoisted to safety by Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) Saturday evening.
Shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, Guam Fire Rescue (GFR) received a report of a hiker near Mount Tenjo with head and neck injuries received when a boulder fell and struck him on the head while running. GFR requested, via U. S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, assistance from HSC-25 to hoist and transport the injured hiker. In a coordinated effort, GFR, Coast Guard Sector Guam, and HSC-25 were able to locate the victim quickly for transport to the U.S. Naval Hospital for treatment.
Recue pilots were guided to the dark, remote trail by a technique commonly referred to as a “buzz saw,” which involves using a chemical glow stick attached to a lanyard being spun overhead in a circle, giving the technique its name from the buzzing noise created. This resulted in a highly visible fluorescent circle, enabling the aircrew to quickly locate the scene and hoist the hiker to safety.
GFR units remained on scene after the hoist and assisted fifteen other running club participants through darkness and wet terrain to return safely to the trailhead. The running club members had stayed on scene to care for the injured team member while GFR units responded by land.
Hikers should take precaution against dangers they may face while on trails and ensure they take a reliable means of contacting emergency officials in the event that assistance is needed.
The Coast Guard urges the public to make early contact with emergency officials and report all marine emergencies to the Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center at 671-564-USCG.