A blind hiker along with his guide dog were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew after being stranded on a hiking trail in Oregon. The 55-year-old man and his dog were stranded on the Rogue River Trail in southwest Oregon, where the hiker began showing signs of heat exhaustion on July 6, despite starting the hike on July 3 with a friend.

Due to the lack of cell phone service in the area, the friend had to leave the hiker and his dog with food and water to seek help from Gold Beach. However, the remote location made it difficult for rescue crews to reach the stranded duo until Monday. A Bureau of Land Management ranger and two deputies from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office managed to locate the hiker and his dog by 9 a.m. local time after a 6-mile hike.

Because of the rough terrain and the hiker’s inability to walk, a Coast Guard helicopter crew had to execute an extraction plan. A rescue swimmer and basket were lowered from the helicopter to hoist the hiker and his dog to safety. They were then transported to EMS at Grants Pass Airport.

Commander Jay Kircher, the pilot in command of the rescue, commended the hiker and his friend for sticking to their plan and staying put while waiting for help. He emphasized that if the hiker had attempted to walk out on his own, the rescue mission could have been much more challenging.

Kircher also shared a heartwarming moment from the rescue operation when they pulled the hiker and his dog to safety. He mentioned how surprised he was to see the dog’s head sticking out of the basket during the hoist operation, as it was a unique and unexpected sight for the crew.

The successful rescue of the blind hiker and his guide dog serves as a reminder of the importance of being prepared and staying calm during emergency situations in remote locations. The quick response and coordinated efforts of the rescue teams played a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the stranded hiker and his loyal companion.