Hiker, Rescuer Both Die at Wash. Waterfall

After hikers fall, tragedy strikes search and rescue team
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
Hiker, Rescuer Both Die at Wash. Waterfall
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

A group of hikers got into trouble Saturday at Washington state's Pilchuck Falls, and the night ended with one hiker and one rescuer dead. Four people were on a logging road near the falls when two of them decided to "work their way down toward the falls," an officer tells the Bellingham Herald. One, a 25-year-old man, fell about 100 feet. The other tried to reach him and then started to fall himself. He clung to a tree until search and rescue personnel arrived and he was saved, but a 62-year-old search and rescue volunteer fell to his death.

The falls are 14 feet high, 60 feet wide, and located in a steep ravine with rugged, precipitous, slippery terrain. Ropes are required to traverse the trail to the falls, a trail that devolves in at least one point to a "giant mudhole," according to one hiking blog. The rescue volunteer who perished has been identified as JB Bryson, KING-5 reports. He had just joined the team eight months ago, and it "was his dream job," his daughter says. "He wanted to play in the woods professionally." Both bodies were recovered yesterday. (More waterfall stories.)

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