Injured Terrebonne teen rescued after Smith Rock fall

Deputies say he fell about 20 feet, urge caution

TERREBONNE, Ore. - A Saturday night rescue of an injured 14-year-old Terrebonne boy who fell about 20 feet at Smith Rock State Park prompted a reminder by authorities Sunday to be adequately equipped and careful during such outings.

Just before 8 p.m., Deschutes County 911 received a call from a juvenile male reporting that his friend had fallen while climbing on some rocks near the north east area of the park, said Deputy Jeff Winters, assistant Search and Rescue coordinator..

The reporting party said his friend had fallen approximately 20 feet down into a canyon onto some rocks, sustaining injuries that left him unable to climb back up and out of the canyon under his own power.

Medics from Redmond Fire and Rescue's Terrebonne station were first on scene and rappelled down to assess the teen's injuries. It was determined  the injuries were non-life threatening, but that SAR would be needed to get the boy out of the canyon.

Shortly after dark, one Special Services deputy and 17 SAR volunteers arrived at the park. Using just head lamps and flashlights, the SAR volunteers, led by members of SAR's Mountain Rescue Unit, began setting up a rope rescue system.

Once completed, the teen, the juvenile was packaged into a liter and hoisted up and out of the canyon, about 15 vertical feet.

Around 10:45 p.m., the SAR volunteers were able to carry the boy in the litter about 200 yards cross-country to the parking lot . He was turned over to his waiting father who said he would be seeking medical treatment for his son's injuries, reportedly a broken ankle.

Winters wrote in a news release that "the sheriff's office investigation determined the fall to be accidental and most likely the result of carelessness by the two boys. "

"The two had been scrambling on rocks in an area of vertical and near-vertical rock faces without any rock climbing equipment, training or experience," the deputy added.

"The Sheriff's Office wants to remind the public that a fall from almost any height can result in serious injury and to exercise caution when recreating around cliffs and rock faces," Winters concluded.

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