BAXTER STATE PARK, Maine — A helicopter was used Monday to airlift a Texas man off Mount Katahdin after a heavy rock fell and seriously injured him, Baxter State Park director Jensen Bissell said.
“Helicopter evacuations are only applied in cases of serious concern,” the park director said. “If this patient had a non-life threatening lower extremity injury, we would have implemented a litter evacuation. In this case, a litter evac would have required 30 to 40 volunteers and would have taken 18 hours or more to complete.”
Ned Hamara, 62, who Bissell said he believes hiked the entire Appalachian Trail last year, suffered both upper and lower body injuries from a large rock falling on him, Bissell said.
Park rangers were alerted about the injury around noon by a 911 call from a concerned hiker. A ranger was dispatched from Katahdin Stream Campground to look for the injured hiker and called for assistance from a Maine Forest Service helicopter when Hamara was found approximately 3,900 feet up the mountain.
Hamara was transported by the Maine Forest Service, which used a short-haul system to remove him from the mountain, to Caribou Pit in Baxter State Park about 4 p.m., where an ambulance was waiting to take him to Millinocket Regional Hospital. He was later transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. His condition was not immediately available, a receptionist at the hospital said Monday night.