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Spokane air support crew rescues 3 stranded hikers in the Cascade Mountains

The flight crew received the request around 2 p.m. Sunday to assist in the rescue of the three hikers because crews in the area were unavailable to respond.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane Regional Air Support Unit Flight Crew rescued three stranded hikers after a fourth member of their group suffered a fatal fall in the Cascade Mountains.

The flight crew received the request around 2 p.m. Sunday to assist in the rescue of the three hikers, ages 61, 56 and 51, because crews in the area were unavailable to respond.

The crew responded to the Iron Cap Mountain area. Officials said the area is extremely remote with steep, jagged cliffs and loose, unstable rock.

Once they arrived, Rescue 3 crews worked with the King County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue to do the technical rescue.

The crew located the hikers and, by hoist lowered Helicopter Rescue Medic and Spokane Fire Department Captain, Bob Nixon, down to the stranded hikers. Helicopter Rescue Medic and Spokane Valley Fire Department Engineer, David Sanchez, also was lowered by hoist to transfer equipment. Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and Flight Crew Chief Chris Bylow operated the hoist as Rescue 3 Pilots Rod Melzer and Chris Debs flew the Bell UH-1H Super Huey.

Officials said they were unable to recover the deceased victim’s body from the mountainside. The King County Sheriff’s Office recovered the victim’s remains Tuesday morning.

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