UPDATE 7 P.M. | Rescuers and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter successfully hoisted Bailey out of the drainage of Sol Duc River’s North Fork at about 6:30 p.m., according to a Olympic National Park release. They took him to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles for medical treatment.
Park officials say Bailey was smart about increasing his chances for rescue, which involved about 20 searchers starting Tuesday morning.
“He did all the right things,” said Olympic National Park Incident Commander Kristin Kirschner in a statement. “Once he realized he would not be able to get out of the canyon under his own power, he stayed where he was, made himself as visible as possible, built a large signal fire, and waited for help.”
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Rescuers found a Mountlake Terrace man who had been missing in Olympic National Park for three days Wednesday afternoon, according to a park spokeswoman.
Tim Bailey, 32, had been immobilized since Saturday when he fell down a 100 to 150-foot drainage north of Sol Duc River and broke his ankle, according to park spokesman Rainey McKenna. Bailey had planned to end a three-day solo backpacking trip from Aurora Ridge Trailhead to the North Fork of the Sol Duc River on Sunday. When he didn’t show up by then, his wife reported the delay to the park, according to The Associated Press.
After two on-ground rescue crews heard what sounded like gun shots Wednesday afternoon, a helicopter sent to search the area spotted him around 3:30 p.m. Bailey, who indeed had a gun on hand, was then found by the on-ground rescuers who are with him now.
McKenna said the rescue team wants to airlift him out by tonight but that effort may be hindered by wet weather moving into the area. If that doesn’t work out, on-ground rescuers will likely transport him back to a trailhead themselves, she said.