Secrecy surrounds Coast Guard rescue of injured hiker in Olympic National Park

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PORT ANGELES — A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a 60-year-old man who suffered a broken ankle while hiking near the Starbuck Mine on the western coastline of Olympic National Park on Sunday, the Coast Guard said Monday.

Coast Guard officials would not release the man's name or hometown, citing an agency policy to require a Freedom of Information Act request for information on closed cases.

A Freedom of Information Act request was pending with the Coast Guard on Monday.

A U.S. Forest Service ranger, who was with the man and rendered first aid, requested Coast Guard assistance through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

The air crew launched from Port Angeles aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter at about 3:50 p.m. and said it safely hoisted the man aboard.

The crew transported the man back to Port Angeles and transferred him in stable condition to waiting emergency medical services at about 5:30 p.m.

The man was transported to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, the Coast Guard said

Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said the hiker was airlifted because the 11-foot seas were too high for a water rescue, and the terrain was too rugged for land transport.

“There were too many rocks and boulders to climb over,” Maynes said.

Maynes said she did not know the man's name.

Starbuck Mine — an old gold mine — is located on the coast near Cedar Creek, north of Cape Johnson and LaPush.

Last modified: January 20. 2014 7:05PM
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