Injured hiker crawls for 8 hours before rescue

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"The greatest relief I've ever felt," said Joseph Oldendorph

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Coast Guard helicopter rescued an injured hiker near Olympic National Park after crews said the man crawled for eight hours until he could get cellphone service.

The 26-year-old hiker, Joseph Oldendorph, was found by a Jefferson County search and rescue team at 4 a.m. on Saturday. The man had fractured his ankle after he slipped on some ice while trail running in the Duckabush Trail area near Hood Canal.

A Coast Guard team from Port Angeles, Wash. flew in on a MH-65 Dolphin chopper and was able to hoist the man from his location. He was then flown to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.

(Photo Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)

The man is currently in stable condition, crews said.

“We like to train for high-altitude rescues because of the mountainous region we operate in,” said Lieutenant Commander Sam Hill in a release. “Because of that training, we were able to overcome numerous environmental challenges to rescue the hiker from a dangerous situation. We thank Jefferson County Search and Rescue for their help locating the hiker and assisting with the hoist.”

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