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Lost hiker found safe, Gresham searcher suffered medical emergency


Search and rescuer from Gresham is in stable condition after Life Flight off trail

A lost hiker near Multnomah Falls was found safe early Wednesday morning, but a member of the Multnomah County Search and Rescue team suffered a major medical emergency, officials said.

The rescue team member, identified as 63-year-old Richard Chambers of Gresham, was taken by Life Flight to a Portland hospital, said Lt. Steve Alexander, spokesman for Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

Chambers’s condition has improved from critical to stable, he said.

Authorities said Chambers suffered “an overwhelming medical condition” that required him to be taken to the hospital immediately for treatment, but gave few other details.

Search and rescuers promptly began to provide first aid to the fallen member shortly after they made contact with the missing hiker at 3:10 a.m., officials said.

A first year member of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team, Chambers is an avid hiker and served in both the Army and National Coast Guard.

Around 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, deputies were called to Multnomah Falls after a hiker called 911 and said he was lost.

The hiker, later identified as Robert Gwynn, 52, said his cellphone battery was almost out of power.

Deputies found Gwynn’s car near the Multnomah Falls Lodge, Alexander said.

Search crews eventually located the missing hiker near a switchback off Trail 400. He was found cold and thirsty, but in otherwise good condition, Alexander said.

A native of Florida, Gwynn told authorities he set out from the Multnomah Falls Trailhead around 5 p.m. Tuesday to take photos of the falls when he lost track of time.

As it started to get dark, the man worried he wouldn’t be able to find his way back down the trail.

Without extra supplies and carrying only a walking stick, Gwynn called for help with only a couple seconds left of his cell’s battery life.