Tip Top off to a busy rescue season in July

SUBLETTE COUNTY, Wyo. – Tip Top Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers were kept busy last weekend with four missions, all occurring within 12 hours.

It all started just after 7 p.m. on July 3 when the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office reported a call in regards to a missing 12-year-old male in the New Fork Lake area and requested Tip Top SAR’s assistance. The boy was located by his family before volunteers deployed.

Then, at 8:20pm, Tip Top SAR was again called to assist looking for two missing females (ages 9 and 12) that were last seen walking around their home on Spring Gulch road. The girls were last seen at 5 p.m. near their property.

SAR members deployed with the assistance of SCSO Deputies searching the area between Spring Gulch Road and Willow Lake Road. Sublette County dispatch received a phone call from a camper above Soda Lake at 10 p.m. stating two young girls had walked into their camp. SCSO Deputy Huffman responded to the camp site and located both girls safe and returned them to the family home.

As the team was debriefing from the last mission where they had been searching for the young girls the next call out for assistance began at 10:30 p.m. It was a call from a family camping in the North Fisherman area reporting seven teenage men riding ATVs stranded in the Mill Creek area. Four SAR members responded and were taken to the location of the men stranded. The men were wet and tired but in good condition. They were loaded into the two responding ATVs and SAR returned all men to their family camp. The ATVs were to be retrieved once daylight and reinforcements showed. All SAR members then returned to town.

At 6 a.m. on July 4, a SPOT notification came to Sublette County Dispatch stating a man was injured at the base of East Temple after a failed BASE jump. A second Inreach notification relayed the location of the injured party and that he was badly hurt. The decision to utilize the helicopter and short haul team was made to retrieve the injured jumper, provide emergency care and transport him to a safe location. Bridger Teton District Rangers approved the use of the helicopter in the wilderness for this rescue.

Air Idaho was contacted to rendezvous with SAR at Deep Lake and fly the injured male directly to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further care.

Upon arrival on scene, SAR learned the man’s chute tangled on deployment and the jumper was repeatedly slammed into the wall of East Temple before he was able to cut himself free and fall to the location SAR located him. From the ledge at the top of East Temple the man jumped from, his resting position was at a distance greater than 1,000 feet. A second jumper was able to successfully deploy and land near the injured to assist SAR short haul member Wilson with stabilizing and packaging the injured for extrication. It was incredible to hear that the man was able to walk out of the hospital the following day.

The rescues took the combined efforts of the men and women who stand ready to serve and save: SAR members Kochever, C. Wilson, G. Wilson, Searles, Adams, Linn, Mitchell, Tatro, Lockwood, Air Resources Helicopter and their pilot/owner Sean Reid, SCSO Deputies/Sergeants Hatch, Huffman, Ruby, and Lanning.

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