Custer County SAR Captain Bob Pruiksma was notified by the Sheriff’s Office late Thursday afternoon that they had received a cell call from a group of camper/fisherman. It was reported that one of them had experienced a cut on the foot and needed help evacuating the subject. The subject was a 44 year old man from Florida who was with friends and family for a four day’s of fishing in the Macy Lake area in the Sangre De Cristo mountains. Evidently, on Wednesday and barefooted while fishing the man slipped on a rock and experienced a deep cut on one of his feet. The Sheriff’s Office was told that the man did not want SAR to come at night, that pain at the time was at a minimum, could not get his boot on because of the swelling but would appreciate help in the morning.
Custer SAR organized the rescue during the evening and 27 members responded to the SAR building at 05:00. This included six ATV members, two horse team members, sixteen ground pounders, and three office support. CCSAR members left the building at 5:20 am.and headed to the Horn Creek area which is about 1/4 mile from the RainbowTrail. Some members were shuttled via the ATV’s while others walked the three miles to the Macy Lake Trail head. There was a 2480′ elevation change and a three mile climb from the trailhead to the first lake, where the subject and family were found. The first SAR members made contact at 08:15 and prepared to place the subject in a litter.
When enough team members arrived the carryout began to horses that were waiting approximately one mile down the trail at the Copperstain Cliff area.where downed trees stopped their progress. The injured man was then helped onto a horse for the two mile trek down Macy Lake trail. At the trailhead a waiting ATV took the man to the staging area where a member of CCSAR transported him to the local clinic. It is expected the subject’s injuries will heal.
Custer SAR Capt. Pruiksma reminds those who hit the mountains and lakes for some recreation to be prepared. Letting someone know your plans, having enough food and water, knowing how to use a GPS, a charged cell phone, and something that will protect you from the elements are a few of the things that could save your life.