By Kera Wanielista / Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon, Wash.
CLEAR LAKE — Two men were rescued Thursday morning from a logging site after one of the trees they were trying to remove slid down the cliffside and struck them.
About 6:30 a.m., four men with a logging company were attempting to remove the previously felled trees from the Phinney-Cumberland area about four miles up on the South Skagit Highway, said Chad Clark, Skagit County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Field Services.
The men hooked up the trees and pulled them to the top of a landing by the tower and slacked the lines to they could take them off. As they did that, one of the trees broke loose and careened about 800 feet down the hill, striking a 33-year-old man and a 53-year-old man.
“Logging’s such a dangerous, dangerous job,” Clark said.
Both men were conscious and talking when deputies arrived shortly after the call came in about 7 a.m., Clark said. One had a broken leg, and the other had possible internal injuries. Because the cliff was steep, Airlift Northwest was called to retrieve the loggers, but their crew couldn’t remove the men from the scene because their helicopter does not have hoisting capabilities. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s Search and Rescue team was then called to the scene.
The NAS crew was able to lift one of the men to safety, and he was transferred to Airlift Northwest to be taken to a hospital. The crew then rescued the other man and took him to a hospital, as well. Their conditions were not immediately available.