During the nice weather that greeted the DC Area on Saturday, many visitors took time to visit Great Falls Park located in Company 30’s first due. Some enjoy hiking along the Billy Goat Trail, others take bike rides up and down the C&O Canal, and experienced kayakers will often test their skills in the Potomac River. This day however, a hiker and a kayaker found themseves in trouble.
A hiker along the Billy Goat Trail injured themselves while on a portion of the trail that is low and close to the Potomac River. The Billy Goat Trail is difficult to access on foot alone, and is essentially inaccessible by motorized vehicle. If a person becomes injured, often the easiest way to remove them and transport them to a local hospital is by boat. However, on this ocassion it was decided that the best course way to remove a patient would be to hoist them up to US Park Police’s Helicopter – Eagle One. Luckily new hoisting equipment had been placed in service that RRATS members trained on prior to this incident that proved useful. Below is a video of the hoist happening. Video by CJPVFD Captain C. Mann
Later in the day, a kayaker challenging himself to the rapids of the Potomac River (which you should NEVER swim in). The kayaker sustained heavy damage to his boat, and as a result he found himself having to walk back to camp after he safely made it to shore. RRATS strike teams worked to remove the boat from the rocks (seen above) so that it could be returned the kayaker, and prevent a possible hazard to future visitors.
River Rescue and Tactical Services (RRATS) train constantly on various rescue techniques as visitors to the Potomac can be stuck in multitude of emergency situations, such as Saturday where more than one rescue had to be performed.