BOISE COUNTY -– A Boise man who got sick and became stranded in the Idaho mountains over the weekend was rescued Tuesday afternoon with the help of helicopter crews from the Idaho Air Guard and Air St. Luke’s.
Boise County Sheriff Chief Deputy Dale Rogers says dispatchers were contacted around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday that 42-year-old Scot Nichols and his wife had gone hiking on Saturday but he became ill during the trip and could not make it back.
The pair had set out from the Grand Jean Lodge Saturday morning and hiked about 10 miles to a mountain lake. On Sunday, Nichols began to vomit and feel ill. He and his wife waited until Monday to try and hike out of the forest. After a few miles of hiking, Nichols began to get more dehydrated and could not finish the hike. The couple spent the night on the trail about five miles from the lodge.
On Tuesday morning, Nichol’s wife left him on the trail and hiked the remaining five miles to the Grand Jean Lodge and called the sheriff’s office.
Rogers says a Forest Service officer, Air St. Luke’s and Lowman Ambulance responded to the lodge and began assessing ways to retrieve Nichols.
Air St. Luke’s was able to find a place in the forest to land their helicopter, but it was still a mile-and-a-half away from Nichols. The crew hiked to his location and determined the best way to get him out was lifting him into a helicopter with a sling. The Idaho Air Guard dispatched a Black Hawk helicopter to the scene and was able to successfully lift Nichols to safety. The entire process took several hours.
A second Air St.Luke’s helicopter was dispatched to Grand Jean because the EMTs from the first chopper where still a mile-and-a-half away from where they landed their helicopter.
Nichols was flown to S. Luke’s Medical Center in Boise for treatment.