An Army Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopter triggered a landslide while trying to save a stranded kayaker Sunday.
The kayaker, identified as Ashish Mishra, age 26, of Portland, had been stranded on the far bank of the Sandy River since Saturday evening, when he fell into the water and became separated from his friends.
He wound up between two cliffs, unable to climb out on his own. Adding to the danger, the river was running fast and was filled with obstacles.
Because darkness fell before rescuers could reach him Saturday night, Mishra was forced to stay the night on the bank.
Early Sunday morning, 25 volunteers and eight firefighters assembled a rescue team consisting of members of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, the Swift Water Rescue Consortium, Northwest Search and Rescue, Clackamas Fire, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, and America Medical Response.
An Army Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopter also arrived to assist. But as they were overhead and assessing the situation, upheaval caused by the helicopter's rotors caused a large landslide. Rocks and trees skidded down towards the kayaker and the rescuers who had reached him on foot.
Mishra's shoulder was injured by the falling debris. At that point, a rescue by helicopter was considered to be too dangerous.
After Mishra's arm was placed in a sling to immobilize it, ropes were used to hoist him about 100 feet up the adjacent cliff. He was then walked back about a quarter of a mile to a awaiting AMR ambulance.
Mishra was transported to Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center to be evaluated.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.
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