rescues
June 12, 2019

A man was rescued Monday afternoon by the Coast Guard after he fell 800 feet into Oregon's Crater Lake, officials announced Tuesday.

Crater Lake National Park rangers called the Coast Guard at 3:47 p.m. to report the accident, and "the aircrew was hovering above the injured man within 15 minutes of arriving on scene," the Coast Guard said in a statement. Using a rope, they were able to hoist the man out of the volcanic crater and into the helicopter. The Coast Guard did not share the man's identity, the extent of his injuries, or how he fell into the crater.

Crater Lake National Park released a statement in May urging visitors to stay back from the edge of the caldera. "A few times every year, visitors get too close and fall, often resulting in severe injury or death," the park said. "Rocks and snow near the edge of the caldera are unstable and may give way without warning. Overhangs of snow called cornices build up over the winter, and it might look like you're standing on solid ground when you're actually standing on a thin layer of snow hanging over air." Catherine Garcia

July 4, 2018

Thai rescuers are giving swimming and scuba diving lessons to 12 boys, all members of a soccer team, and their coach in preparation for getting them out of a flooded cave where they have been trapped for 11 days.

Some Navy divers and medics have already reached the boys in a dry area more than two miles inside the cave, bringing them food, blankets, and other supplies. Another 30 divers are being sent in Wednesday to help get them out. Authorities said the boys, between the ages of 11 and 16, might be brought out in phases, as conditions permit, but dismissed as speculation that the children could be trapped for up to four months. "All 13 don't have to come out at the same time," Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said. "Who is ready first can go first." Harold Maass

October 26, 2017

After almost five months lost at sea, two women and their dogs were rescued by a U.S. Navy ship 900 miles southeast of Japan.

The women set sail from Hawaii in late May, bound for Tahiti, the Navy said in a statement Thursday. They lost their engine in a bad storm and thought they could use their sails to make it to Tahiti. They veered off course, and their distress calls were never picked up because they were never close to any vessels and too far out for the signals to reach land. On Tuesday, a Taiwanese fishing boat saw the women and notified the Coast Guard, with the USS Ashland arriving the next day.

The women, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba of Honolulu, said they survived because they had a water purifier and brought enough food, including oatmeal and pasta, to last a year. "They saved our lives," Appel said. "The pride and smiles we had when we saw [the Navy] on the horizon was pure relief." Catherine Garcia

November 14, 2016

About 1,000 tourists and hundreds of residents in Kaikoura, New Zealand, are stranded after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake early Monday caused mud and debris to block roads.

"From all directions, Kaikoura has essentially been isolated," Air Commodore Darryn Webb, acting commander of New Zealand's Joint Forces, told The Associated Press. "There's a real imperative to support the town because it can't support itself." Kaikoura is home to 2,000 people, and is a tourist destination for those wanting to whale watch or take in the scenery. The quake, centered 57 miles northeast of Christchurch, left two dead and triggered a small tsunami, and there are still strong aftershocks shaking the country.

Some people have been ferried out of the coastal town, and a Navy ship is on its way from Auckland to pick up more; it is expected to arrive Wednesday morning. The military is using helicopters to airlift 18 passengers out at a time. The temblor cut off Kaikoura's water supplies and sewage systems, and if necessary, a military transport plane will drop off food, water, fuel, and other supplies. Prime Minister John Key flew over Kaikoura and said the town was "devastated," with cars turned over and the roads impassable. He estimated it could cost billions of dollars and take several months to clear debris from the blocked roads. Catherine Garcia

April 13, 2016

A missing Arizona woman was found over the weekend after rescuers discovered several clues she left behind as she moved through the wilderness.

Ann Rodgers, 72, and her dog were stranded in the Gila County wilderness for nine days, and survived by eating plants and berries and drinking creek water. The Arizona Department of Public Safety says Rodgers was headed to Phoenix from Tucson on March 31 when she ran out of gas and got lost while trying to find a station. Unable to get cellphone reception, she kept walking through the wilderness, leaving behind various hints — on April 3, her car was found, and later rescuers spotted the word "HELP" spelled out in sticks and rocks. Rodgers left behind a letter dated April 3 that said she was headed down the canyon in search of food and water. On Saturday, a helicopter search party finally found Rodgers after rounding a bend in a canyon and seeing her waving while standing next to a fire.

White Mountain Apache Tribe Game and Fish Det. Johnny Holmes told the Arizona Republic Rodgers played a major role in her rescue by "giving our guys clues to find and follow where she was." Rodgers was suffering from exposure and taken to the hospital in fair condition; she has since been released. Professional survival instructor Cody Lundin said most people who are rescued in the wilderness are found within three days or less, and for Rodgers to have made it nine days is "very rare, statistically abnormal, and freakish." Catherine Garcia

April 13, 2016

Two skiers were rescued from a glacier in Alaska on Tuesday after being stranded for four days.

Jennifer Neyman, 36, and Christopher Hanna, 45, were dropped off on Bear Glacier Friday, but bad weather prevented a helicopter from picking them up that night. The pair, both experienced in the outdoors, set up a light tent they brought, but it was destroyed by snow and heavy winds on Saturday. As the little bit of food they brought dwindled, they were able to communicate with friends and rescuers through cellphones and satellite text messages, The Associated Press reports, and the Alaska Air National guard pinpointed their location to the 4,300-foot-level of the 13-mile-long glacier in the Harding Ice Field.

Once the weather cleared on Tuesday, rescuers were able to find Neyman and Hanna and "dig out four feet of snow around the survivors to get them out," Guard Lt. Col. Matt Calabro told AP. "The terrain there is pretty gnarly. High mountain peaks, clouds, snow, icing, and the glaciers, so everything is white-on-white. It's like what we call flying in a ping pong ball." The rescue crew originally tried to land on Monday, but the mission was aborted due to huge crevasses on the glacier. Neyman and Hanna are both in good condition. Catherine Garcia

February 23, 2016

The Kurdistan Region Security Council announced Tuesday it rescued a 16-year-old Swedish girl from the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq.

Swedish media reports that the girl and her boyfriend were persuaded to travel in June first to Syria and then to Mosul by an ISIS operative in Sweden, and eventually she became a captive of the group. She was pregnant when she arrived, and it's been reported that she gave birth to a son in November. The Kurdish forces reportedly rescued her on Feb. 17, and said she is currently in the Kurdistan region and will soon be transferred to Swedish authorities. A senior official told Agence France-Presse the operation was carried out "secretly in the center of Mosul" without "clashes or the arrest of any gunmen." Catherine Garcia

July 15, 2015

Dozens of people at a Massachusetts beach rallied together to save the life of a young great white shark that washed ashore.

When Chatham harbormaster Stuart Smith arrived at South Beach early Monday afternoon, he found 30 to 40 people pouring buckets of water on the shark to help him breathe. "Twenty, 25 years ago, they wouldn't be exactly helping the shark," he told The Boston Globe. "They'd be harming the shark. But now every single person on that beach was trying to assist it. The people on the beach made the difference."

Smith and his colleagues tied a rope around the shark and then towed him into water using a patrol boat. When a biologist arrived, the shark was towed out another mile, where he regained some strength and was released. A tag was added to the shark, so biologists can now track his movements when he's near Cape Cod. The entire ordeal was over by 5 p.m., and relieved beach goers who watched the entire incident unfold cheered from the shore when the shark was set free. Watch video of the rescue below. Catherine Garcia

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