While hiking at Abiqua Falls near Scott Mills recently, a woman lost her footing and fell 300 hundred feet.
A thirty-three person rescue team worked for three hours in temperatures reaching 90 degrees to rescue the woman, who survived with critical injuries.
Silverton Fire District Captain Ed Grambusch stated, “She literally fell 300 feet, bouncing off rocks along the way. She’s lucky to be alive for sure.”
A witness to the fall called the police at around 1:45 pm that day. Given that the area has very poor cell reception, this is “another flash of luck,” stated Grambusch.
Firefighters from Silverton and Salem rushed to the scene along with ambulances from Woodburn. Three Salem firefighters traveled down the face of the cliff with medical equipment and strapped the woman to a stretcher. The rescue team lifted the woman to the top of the cliff using ropes and pulleys, and she was then airlifted to Portland Hospital.
Grambusch noted that, during his twenty-five years as a firefighter, he has only heard of four rescues from Abinqua Falls.
“It’s beautiful there. That’s why people go. But it’s treacherous.”