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CUTLER, Maine — A College of the Atlantic student injured Sunday afternoon while hiking along the Bold Coast Trail was flown out by helicopter and taken to a Machias hospital, according to officials.
The name of the student from the Bar Harbor college was not available Sunday afternoon, but she had been camping at the state-owned preserve with several other COA students, according to Ranger Jeffrey Currier of the Maine Forest Service.
The young woman didn’t fall far, Currier said, but wrenched or twisted her leg as she tumbled a few feet from the trail onto a rock face. The injury initially was reported as a compound fracture, he said, but when medical personnel got there they determined it most likely was a bad sprain.
The Bold Coast Trail is a rugged trail several miles long that loops through thick woods and along the rocky ocean shore. Carrying the injured hiker all the way out to Route 191 would have been an arduous task, he said, so officials decided to fly a helicopter in to the site as close as they could.
EMTs and firefighters hiked in for three miles before they found the group of hikers, Currier indicated. The Maine Forest Service flew a helicopter from Old Town to the preserve, which is maintained by Maine Bureau of Parks and Land, and landed in a field not far from where the COA student had fallen.
After being carried on a litter to the waiting helicopter, the injured hiker was flown to Route 191, where an ambulance then drove her to Down East Community Hospital in Machias.
“The rough terrain and distance made a conventional carry-out highly problematic,” Currier said in a prepared statement. “The helicopter made for a very efficient rescue.”
About 15 people, including uninjured members of the COA hiking party, assisted in the rescue effort, Currier said. In addition to Maine Forest Service rangers, Cutler Volunteer Fire Department, U.S. Navy personnel stationed in Cutler and Machias Ambulance Service helped get her to the hospital, he said.