Minor Injuries After Dramatic Rescue From Chelan River Gorge
One person has minor injuries after a dramatic search and rescue from Chelan Falls Gorge over the weekend.
Rope technicians from the Chelan County Sheriff's Office, Chelan Fire and Rescue and the Wenatchee Valley Fire Department were called to the scene at about 4pm Saturday.
Chelan County Sheriff's Corporal Jeremy Mannin says a man and a woman were attempting to hike out of the gorge on an 80-degree slope, when the woman fell back down.
He said one member of the rope crew rappelled down to assist the woman, put her in a helmet and prepare for a rescue in a basket.
"We completed a steep angle rescue with our patient in the litter, bringing her back up to the roadway, where she was transported by aid to Lake Chelan Community Hospital with some minor injuries just for evaluation," said Mannin.
The rescue took place in what's considered a highly dangerous location between Chelan and Chelan Falls.
Water being released from the Chelan Dam varies greatly depending on water flow and can create a flash flood scenario through the section where the man and woman were hiking.
Mannin says the outcome could have been far worse for the couple.
"They were very fortunate they weren't seriously injured in it," Mannin said. "That area up there is not a great area to go in. In fact, most of the roadway there are signs indicating you're not supposed to be down there. It is trespassing."
He said the couple had parked on the side of Gorge Road directly beside one of the warning signs.
According to Chelan PUD, which owns the property, there are 97 “no trespassing” signs around the Chelan River Gorge, which is closed to the public.
An exception is made during one weekend every year in September when expert kayakers are allowed to navigate the rapids of the gorge.
Saturday's rescue was completed by 6:30pm.