Climbers stranded for days on Mount Rainier rescued by helicopter

Climbers stranded for days on Mount Rainier rescued by helicopter

Four climbers were rescued from Mount Rainier on June 6 after calling 911 on June 3.

One of the climbers, Yevgeniy Krasnitskiy of Portland, told reporters “Don’t mess with Rainier.”

Krasnitskiy said this when he described the harrowing conditions that the four of them overcame. Their misfortune was brought about by unforeseen winds tearing through their camp on June 2. The wind took away some of their gear, as reported by the Seattle Times.

The four men in their 30s were saved by a helicopter the morning of June 6. They were transported to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. Their injuries included altitude sickness and frostbite. All were released that evening, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

According to Mount Rainier National Park officials, stormy weather hampered five attempts at a helicopter rescue that Monday and Tuesday. The weather kept the helicopters down on Wednesday. That was why a park helicopter crew was not able to land on the mountain until that Thursday morning.

The climbers included Krasnitskiy, Vasily Aushev and Kostya “Constantine” Toporov of New York City; and Ruslan Khasbulatov of Jersey City, New Jersey.

Beginning their climb on May 31, the climbers camped low on the hazardous and technical Liberty Ridge route on the first night. But they were worried about rock fall, because a climber had lost his life recently at the routes usual high camp, according to Krasnitskiy.

They made the decision to skip the high camp, with the intention of spending a night near the summit. They began their trek on June 1 at 10 p.m.

The climbers made it through the high camp, at about 10,500 feet. But then one of them got altitude sickness, which impeded their progress.

By the next day, the sick climber was weary, and they were forced to make an unintended camp on steep snow.

Then the unexpected strong wind hit, shaking their camp and ripping and breaking their tent. Krasnitskiy’s pack, sleeping bag, shovel, and some food were lost.

“Everyone was hypothermic,” he said. “It was a cold night.”

The next day, June 3, they watched as the high winds kept a helicopter from reaching them.

In the mornings they drank tea, and they ate small portions of food and collectively drank one bottle of melted snow each day.

On June 4, rocks and snow dropped on their tent. A ball of ice hit one of the climbers while he was sleeping. When he woke up, he asked who had hit him, Krasnitskiy said.

The ice that fell smothered their tent platform and pressed them closer together. It was not possible to descend.

On June 5 they kept climbing.

“It really hit me, there are so many people out there thinking about us and have no idea what’s going on with us. We’re here. We’re alive. It’s miserable, but we’re alive,” Krasnitskiy said. As they continued climbing, he said he just kept yelling, “We have to get there.”

On that night, Krasnitskiy said they slept in a crevasse, which blocked the wind and was surprisingly comfortable.

On June 6, they started to lose hope.

“And then the helicopter arrived,” Krasnitskiy said.

The climbers were spotted about a half-mile from the place they had been found before. They were in a location far less affected by the wind and more accessible for a helicopter. According to CBS News, park officials said the route between the two sites requires expert and technical climbing, and the climbers “contributed greatly” to their own rescue.

Krasnitskiy, who has been a climber for 15 years, said he would climb Mount Rainier again.

“Every time I go up a mountain, it teaches me a lesson,” he said.

Read more about this story here.

To watch a brief interview with Krasnitskiy by KOIN 6, click here.



World’s smallest surviving micro-preemie discharged from hospital

World’s smallest surviving micro-preemie discharged from hospital

A little girl was born weighing only as much as an apple.

A hospital in San Diego revealed that the girl is believed to be the tiniest surviving micro-preemie in the world. She weighed only 8.6 ounces when she was born in December.

The girl, who nurses called “Saybie” was born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s 40-week pregnancy. Saybie’s Father was told after her birth that he would only have an hour to be with his daughter before she passed away.

“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week,” the mother said in a video released by Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, as reported by Mail Tribune.

It has been five months since Saybie was born and in late May she returned home from the hospital as a healthy infant. She was five pounds.

The hospital said that Saybie’s family wanted to remain anonymous, but they gave permission to share her story.

According to the Tiniest Baby Registry that is upheld by the University of Iowa, Saybie is the world’s smallest baby ever to survive.

Professor of pediatrics from the University of Iowa, Dr. Edward Bell, said that Saybie had the lowest medically confirmed birth weight submitted to the registry.

However, “we cannot rule out even smaller infants who have not been reported to the Registry,” he said in an email to The Associated Press.

The previous tiniest baby was born in Germany in 2015. But Saybie officially broke that record by weighing seven grams less.

In a video created by the hospital, the mother said that the birth was the scariest day of her life.

She said that she was taken to the hospital because she was not feeling well. When she got there, she was told that she had a damaging condition called preeclampsia, which causes the blood pressure to skyrocket. She needed to give birth right away.

“I kept telling them she’s not going to survive, she’s only 23 weeks,” the mother said.

But in her neonatal intensive care unit, Saybie did survive.

As she gained pounds over the months, a pink sign was placed by her crib. It read “Tiny but Might.”

“You could barely see her in the bed she was so tiny,” nurse Emma Wiest said in the video.

When Saybie was ready to leave the unit, nurses positioned a tiny graduation cap on her head.

The tiny little girl has massive challenges ahead of her as a micro-preemie, defined as an infant born before 28 weeks of gestation. Babies like Saybie can face vision and hearing problems, developmental issues and many other complications.

Michelle Kling, of March of Dimes, said that many micro-preemies don’t survive their first year. March of Dimes is a nonprofit that seeks to improve the health of mothers and babies.

To date, Saybie has defied the odds.

“She’s a miracle, that’s for sure,” said Kim Norby, another nurse featured in the video.

“I just want her to know how strong she is,” nurse Emily Wiest said. “There’s nothing she can’t do.”

For more information about this story, click here.

To watch the video, click here.

Woman rescued from Hawaii forest after being lost for 16 days

Woman rescued from Hawaii forest after being lost for 16 days

A woman was retrieved from a Hawaii forest after being lost for more than two weeks. She said that she had to choose between life and death in order to stay alive, as reported by ABC News.

“There were times of total fear and loss and wanting to give up, and it did come down to life and death, and I had to choose,” said Amanda Eller, 35, from her hospital bed, hours after rescuers plucked her from a ravine using a helicopter. “I chose life.”

After being lost for 16 days, Eller was found in decent condition on May 24 at about 5 p.m. local time.

Eller appreciated the Maui community, the volunteers who helped search for her, and the people who donated to help pay for the search.

“People that know me, that don’t know me, just under the idea of helping one person make it out of the woods alive just warms my heart,” she said in a video posted on the Facebook page “Find Amanda,” which was created after she went missing.

Eller’s mother, Julia Eller, told Fox affiliate KHON-TV that her daughter is recovering “remarkably” with just a fractured leg and needed treatment for her ankles.

“She had been working on herself — she’s a physical therapist by training, so apparently those healing touches had done her well. And they said for what she had been through, she was in surprisingly good shape,” Julia Eller said. “I’m just so incredibly grateful to have my girl home. I never gave up hope for a minute. And even though at times, you know, I would have those moments of despair, I stayed strong for her because I knew we would find her.”

Amanda Eller vanished after going on a hike on May 8. She is a yoga instructor and a physical therapist. The last person to see Eller that morning was her boyfriend. When she did not return he reported to the police that she was missing the next day.

Soon after she was reported missing, Eller’s SUV was found at the beginning of the Kahakapao Trail.

ABC News was told by Sarah Haynes, who operated the Facebook page, that Eller was found by a search helicopter on the afternoon of May 24. She was in a ravine close by Twin Falls. Haynes said that Eller was able to flag down the helicopter.

A member of the rescue team said they discovered her in a stream bed.

“She was waving up at us while we were in the helicopter, and we got her out nice and safe,” Chris Berquist, who was in the helicopter, told ABC News Radio late Friday.

Considering what she faced, Eller was in good condition. She spoke to her father when she was on the helicopter. After she reached the helipad an ambulance took her to Maui Memorial Hospital.

“She was very alert, she knew her father’s phone number, she knew who she was, where she was, knew exactly how long she had been out there — very surprised to see us,” Berquist said. “I’ve never felt something quite that overpowering.”

Haynes said that Eller had been living off water and plants.

“She was several miles above Twin Falls, over in deep H’aiku, way off the beaten track,” Berquist said.

Just a few hours before Eller was found, the reward for her return was upped to $50,000.

On May 16, Eller’s boyfriend, Benjamin Konkol, told ABC News that he believed she was still in the forest and that he did not suspect foul play.

“She’s my soulmate, she’s the love of my life and I feel that she’s still out there. … I’d really like to stop spending my evenings alone and have my love back,” he said at the time.

Haynes filmed a short video for Facebook, in which Eller thanks to her rescuers. She also talked about looking at the big picture of her ordeal.

“This is just a tiny little blip of my story and my life and it serves a much, much bigger purpose,” Eller said. “Seeing the power of prayer and the power of love when everybody combined their efforts is incredible. It can move mountains.”

“This was all about us coming together for a greater purpose of community and love, and appreciation for life,” Eller said.

To read more about this story, click here.

To view the video of Eller’s message to her rescuers, click here.



Parkrose High School coach tackles armed student

Parkrose High School coach tackles armed student

A former wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks has been pronounced a hero after tackling a potential shooter at Parkrose High School on May 17.

Keanon Lowe, who works as a football and track coach as well as a security guard at the school, confronted and overcame a student who took a concealed rifle to class. Lowe tackled the student before he was able to point or fire the weapon.

“When I signed up to be a Security Guard, Football and Track & Field Coach for Parkrose High School, I did so to guide and coach young people whose shoes I had once been in. I had no idea, that I would one day have to put my life on the line like I did yesterday for my students,” Lowe tweeted on Saturday, as reported by The Washington Post.

“I didn’t see any other choice but to act,” Lowe said in a tweet. “I’ve spent the last 24 hours being more appreciative of my family and realizing we have a serious problem.”

“I’m blessed to be alive and extremely happy that the students are safe. I’m not sure what’s next, I haven’t had the time to really think about it,” Lowe said. “But I am sure I want to be a part of the solution to school gun violence.”

Parkrose students told school officials about the classmate who demonstrated troubling behavior in the days prior to the event. The student hinted that he wanted to hurt himself and obtain firearms, according to The Oregonian.

Lowe searched for the troubled student in his government class, but did not find him, according to other classmates. With ten minutes remaining in the class, police said 18-year-old Angel Granados Dias showed up in a long coat and revealed that he had a rifle. Students and teachers escaped the classroom through a back door.

“A Portland Police School Resource Officer and other officers arrived and immediately entered the school and found the staff member detaining the subject in the hallway,” police said in a statement.

Lowe thanked the Portland Police for their help.

Lowe is in his second year working at Parkrose High School. He formerly worked as an offensive analyst for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. He also coached at Jesuit high in Portland, his alma mater.

Attending University of Oregon from 2010 to 2014, Lowe was a three-year starter at wide receiver. He caught 68 passes for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Proclaimed the “team’s most inspirational player” as a redshirt senior, Lowe earned a reputation as a fan favorite. The fans admired him because of his unselfish blocking habits and triumphant celebrations of teammates’ accomplishments.

Parkrose football players said that Lowe had already made a big impact on the school despite his brief time there, according to The Oregonian.

After students were reunited with their parents, Lowe told police that he was tired and that he wanted to see his own loved ones. As reported by The Oregonian, two men stopped to shake Lowe’s hand while they were in the parking lot. One woman hugged him and said, “Thank you.”

“I’m just happy everyone was okay,” he told reporters. “I’m happy I was able to be there for the kids and for the community.”

Read more about this story here.

To read several Tweets directed to Lowe, click here.

Georgia governor signs bill protecting babies with a heartbeat

Georgia governor signs bill protecting babies with a heartbeat

One of the most protective abortion laws in the nation has been signed by Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia. The outcome of this law is the legal protection of babies after six weeks gestation, the stage when doctors can normally detect a heartbeat. There are a few exceptions, which include preventing death or major harm to the woman and in situations of rape or incest, after a police report has been filed.

Like three other states that have enacted similar laws, it is expected Georgia’s law will come up against an immediate legal challenge. Supporters hope that this law will begin a re-evaluation of Roe v. Wade by the United States Supreme Court. Roe v. Wade was the landmark 1973 decision that overrode state abortion laws and made abortion legal all nine months of pregnancy.

In a signing ceremony at the State Capitol, Kemp, a Republican, said that his administration is prepared for a court fight.

“Our job is to do what is right, not what is easy,” he said, as reported by The New York Times. “We are called to be strong and courageous, and we will not back down.”

This Georgia legislation is just one of the latest developments in a wide-ranging battle over abortion that has taken place this year. State legislators headed by Republicans in the Midwest and the South have taken the lead. Conservative lawmakers have seen the recent changes in the Supreme Court as an opportunity to get overturn Roe v. Wade.

“This is a historic day for Georgia,” Catherine Davis, a pro-life rights activist said, as reported by The New York Times. “This is a day that many of us who have been in the pro-life fight for years and years and years didn’t really think it would be possible, in light of the politics of the issue,” Davis said at Kemp’s signing ceremony.

Read more about this story here.


Alabama governor signs nation’s most protective abortion law

Alabama governor signs nation’s most protective abortion law

Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed a controversial abortion bill on May 15 that may have the ability to penalize doctors who conduct abortions with life in prison.

“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature,” Ivey, a Republican, said in a statement, as reported by CNN. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

The bill was approved 24-6 by the Alabama Senate on Tuesday, May 14. The law’s only allowances include “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the child in the womb has “a lethal anomaly,” as told by CNN. Democrats attempted an amendment to exclude cases such as rape and incest victims, but the motion was not successful, with an 11-21 vote.

Ivey mentioned in her statement that this law may be difficult to enforce because of the Supreme Court’s case, Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in every American state. The intention of this new law was to challenge Roe v. Wade, Ivey said.

“No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable,” Ivey wrote. “As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions. Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”

Alabama is now at the forefront of passing measures to protect unborn babies. Georgia’s Gov. Kemp recently signed a pro-life protection bill, you can read about it here.

Read more about this story here.