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29 Nov 2015
30 Nov 2015
Injured hiker rescued near Mt. Jefferson
Michael Smilenski, a 56-year-old injured hiker, was rescued near Mt. Jefferson early this morning.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office was notified of Smilenski's potential situation via a Personal Locator Beacon, which is similar to locating devices used on aircrafts, but are for personal use.
Deputies learned from Smilenski's friends he left yesterday to hike up to Mt. Jefferson, but they did not know the trail he was taking.
Deputies attempted to locate Smilenski's vehicle and began activating Search and Rescue units from Marion and Linn counties. The sheriff's office also requested a helicopter from the Oregon National Guard.
Smilenski was located by the helicopter just after 10 p.m. as he was flashing some kind of light to signal rescuers. The helicopter that located him was not equipped to conduct a rescue operation and they requested an additional helicopter for the rescue.
Once the rescue helicopter was on scene, operators were able to load up Smilenski and lift him up into the helicopter around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, July 19, where he was flown to Salem and taken by ambulance to Salem Health for medical treatment.
Smilenski is an experienced hiker and had hiking equipment.
According to Smilenski, he fell about 100 feet and was injured. Further details about his injuries will not be released.