Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Missing paraglider found northeast of Carey

Sheriff says pilot recovering at Boise hospital

Express Staff Writer

Guy Anderson

    A massive search for a paraglider who went missing in Saturday’s World Cup paragliding competition in Ketchum ended Monday afternoon when the man was found, injured but alive, in Bradsfield Canyon northeast of Carey.
    Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said the pilot, 49-year-old Guy Anderson, of England, was recovering at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise after suffering a broken clavicle bone and several broken ribs.
    “This morning, he’s at Saint Alphonsus and they say he’s doing good,” Ramsey said Tuesday. “He even ate his breakfast and said it was good.
    “We notified his family as soon as they found him and they were ecstatic,” the sheriff said.
    Ramsey reported Monday that Anderson was found at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday by an Idaho National Guard helicopter crew based out of Gowen Field in Boise. He was initially flown to Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey and transported from there by ambulance to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. Ramsey said Anderson was then flown by emergency helicopter to Boise.
    Anderson, who Ramsey described as an “elite paraglider,” went missing Saturday afternoon when pilots of the paragliding World Cup event in Ketchum were on a “task” to fly from the launching point on Bald Mountain to Arco. He was reported missing at about 8:30 p.m. in the evening.
    A massive search was organized, involving up to 70 searchers, both on the ground and in the air.
   Ramsey said the World Cup events were canceled for the search and many pilots assisted in trying to find Anderson and “that certainly helped our manpower efforts.”
   The sheriff said Anderson crash-landed in the Fish Creek drainage area of Bradsfield Canyon and despite his injuries was attempting to hike out of the area when discovered by the National Guard helicopter crew.
    “That he had a strong mindset to live was probably a key factor to his survival,” Ramsey said. “He was in good shape, he was resourceful and he was energetic.”

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