Rescue crews have to haul SK woman from ravine

Traffic on Mile Hill Drive was tied up for nearly an hour and a half Wednesday afternoon as fire district crews attempted to rescue a woman who had fallen into a ravine.

Port Orchard resident Rachel Zadniprovskiy, who said she knew the woman by sight as a frequent dog-walker, was driving by when she saw passers-by peering off the south side of the road. She stopped to investigate and found a woman lying half-way down the steep face of the ravine, accompanied by a large Rottweiler.

Zadniprovskiy said she climbed down to the woman, who told Zadniprovskiy she had been yanked over the edge by her dog Abby and was now suffering hip pain.

“The dog started pulling her down the rocks and kept pulling her — that’s what she told me,” Zadniprovskiy said. “I don’t know what (the dog) saw. For some reason it decided to take a detour down there.”

The ravine wall was too steep for the woman to navigate, so Zadniprovskiy agreed to dog-sit Abby and called 911.

When the first Fire District 7 crews arrived, they realized they couldn’t get the injured woman out either, and called for extra personnel. They ended up using rappelling equipment and a rescue sled to secure the woman and get her out of the ravine without causing further injury.

“She was complaining of some injuries that made it impossible for them to walk her up,” said district spokeswoman Lisa Kirkemo.

In order to anchor the rappelling ropes, the rescue crew had to park a fire engine cross-ways in the road and tie off the ends to the front of the vehicle. In order to provide backup support, nearly every available firefighter in the district was called to the scene.

It took nearly an hour before the patient was safely on her way to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton.“It’s very labor-intensive with all the safety standards in place now,” said Battalion Chief Ed Boucher.

Harrison Hospital was unable to give information about the woman’s status, but she did not appear to be seriously injured.

Zadniprovskiy took Abby home, per the trapped woman’s instructions. She said she had another Rottweiler, so it wouldn’t be a big deal to watch out for another until the woman was released from the hospital.

“Apparently (Abby) doesn’t like males, so she made me promise I wouldn’t give her to anyone,” Zadniprovskiy said.

Kirkemo said the district does about two or three similar “low-angle” rescues a year.

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