September 25, 2018
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Hiker rescued by helicopter at Acadia National Park

Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
A sign marks the summit of Dorr Mountain, the third tallest peak on Mount Desert Island, in Acadia National Park.
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Updated:

A hiker with an injured leg was rescued Monday morning by Maine Forest Rangers and others who used a helicopter to get her off a mountain at Acadia National Park.

The 53-year-old Boston woman had been hiking on the Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail with some companions soon after 7 a.m. when a falling rock that weighed 200 or 300 pounds landed on her leg, according to Supervisory Ranger Darren Belskis. She was above a ladder section of the trail and in steep terrain when the accident happened about a third of a mile from the trailhead, the ranger said.

The emergency call reporting her injuries came in at 7:19 a.m. and about half an hour later, park rangers and paramedics from the Bar Harbor Fire Department had arrived at her location. Belskis declined to release the name of the injured woman.

“She sustained significant lower leg injury from a large falling rock,” he said, adding that “I was told it was a large rock that was wedged in a crevice area” that at some point tumbled down.

The first responders provided care for the woman, and because of the steep terrain and the severity of her injury, decided to call the Maine Forest Service to request a helicopter. While they were waiting, they moved the woman to a ledge so she could be more easily taken off the mountain, lowering her roughly 30 feet with a rope and a litter. From there, the forest service crew could lift her off the mountain, and she was flown in the helicopter to the Bar Harbor ball field and then taken by ambulance to the Mount Desert Island Hospital, also in Bar Harbor.

Sara Tremblay of Acton and her husband, a firefighter, were passing through Bar Harbor when they saw part of the rescue effort, which she described as scary and impressive.

“This was the first rescue I’ve seen like this, and though terrified, I was impressed by the rescuers’ obvious team effort and coordination,” she wrote in an email to the BDN.

Belskis did not have information about her condition by late afternoon, but said that the rescue was completed by 11 a.m. Eight Acadia National Park rangers, two paramedics, 10 rescue personnel from MDI Search & Rescue, two park volunteers and the crew from the Maine Forest Service assisted. The Ladder Trail was closed to other hikers during the rescue, he said.

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