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Wilderness Mortalities: A 13-Year Experience

Document Date: December 22, 2006
Document Source: EMS Journal
Document: Goodman_0-1
Torrey Goodman
Hal Strich
Kenneth V. Iserson
Posted:  December 21, 2006

“The areas wilderness activities include rock climbing (both technical and recreational), canyon exploring, hiking, swimming, cliff diving in rivers and lakes, caving, and river rafting. A unique aspect of the region is that the county is one of the nations largest, with 9,241 square miles, although the water surface area is only 1.1 square miles.”

“Of the 59 unintentional trauma mortalities, there were 17 (28.8%) falls, 18 (30.5%) combined falls/drowning, 15 (25.4%) drownings, 3 (5.1%) motor vehicle crashes, 2 (3.4%) gunshot wounds, 1 (1.7%) motorcycle crash, and 3 (5.1%) victims of aircraft crashes (5.1%). The falls/drowning category was used when there was a fall from a rock face into water that resulted in  drowning or when the victim was swept over a waterfall resulting in drowning or fatal blunt trauma.”