Rescuers save man dangling from tree in Umatilla National Forest

Rescuers save man dangling from tree in Umatilla National Forest
(U.S. Forest Service)

Authorities rescued a man found dangling from a tree 20 feet above the ground in the Umatilla National Forest on Tuesday.

The man said he fell from a tree stand, a platform used by hunters, and was hanging upside down in a safety harness for two days.

A hunter came across him in the woods north of Highway 244 near the Frazier camping area, located several miles east of Ukiah. The hunter had to drive to the highway to get cell phone reception and called 911, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

The 911 call went to the Union County dispatch center in La Grande, and authorities there contacted the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office. Crews from both counties and the Grandview Fire Department responded.

A Union County Search & Rescue crew used ropes and high angle rescue techniques to climb the tree and get the man down. Midway through the rescue, the man lost conscious and his heart stopped.

He was quickly lowered to the ground and transported to a makeshift landing zone where a Life Flight helicopter picked him up and took him to a regional hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.

His name has not been released.