Man with leg trapped under rock rescued from bottom of waterfall - KPTV - FOX 12

Man with leg trapped under rock rescued from bottom of waterfall

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Photo: Skamania County EMS and Rescue Photo: Skamania County EMS and Rescue

Emergency crews used a system of ropes to rescue a man whose leg was trapped by a rock at the bottom of a waterfall.

Skamania County authorities were called out to Dougan Falls on the Upper Washougal River at just after 8 p.m. Monday.

They arrived to find a man just downstream from a small waterfall stuck in a turbulent patch of water with his leg under a rock.

First responders worked with others at the river to place a floatation device on the man, identified as 19-year-old John Napierkowski, and get ropes wrapped around him.

The goal was to stabilize him until more rescue teams arrived at the scene.

Photos: Man with leg trapped under rock rescued from waterfall

In all, Skamania County EMS, Skamania County Fire District No. 4, Skamania County Fire District No. 5, the Skamania County Sheriff's Office and the Regional Technical Rescue Team all responded.

Rescue crews created an advanced rope system to get additional lines around the trapped man. Firefighters said he was able to help, as well, by placing a harness on himself.

Napierkowski was then pulled upstream by rescue teams, managing to free his leg from underneath the rock.

The man was placed in a rescue basket and brought up the embankment to a waiting medical team.

Napierkowski was described by deputies as coherent, but lethargic, and showing signs of having been stuck in the water for around an hour. The water temperature was believed to be 58 to 60 degrees.

He was then taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for treatment of hypothermia and other minor injuries.

Napierkowski was listed in satisfactory condition Tuesday, before being transferred to another local hospital for further treatment.

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