November 30, 2023

JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) – A team of Alaska medics and firefighters rescued a Boy Scout whose legs had been pinned under a 3,000-pound (1,361-kg) boulder that rolled onto him at a riverfront camp in Juneau, rescue officials said on Wednesday.

The young man was climbing in a rocky area near the mouth of the Herbert River on Monday when the boulder came loose, trapping him, said Ed Quinto, assistant chief of Capital City Fire and Rescue.

Several other Boy Scouts, scout personnel and the boy’s father managed to free one leg caught between the boulder and the sandy ground, but his second leg remained wedged between the boulder and another rock.

Firefighters called to the scene ultimately used inflatable bags to move the boulder before freeing the boy, who was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital once medics had stabilized him, Quinto said.

“It was raining the whole time, but we were able to stave off hypothermia,” Quinto said. “The trail back to the road is only 5 feet wide, so flying him was the fastest way to take the patient to the hospital without causing further injury.”

The boy’s name and age were not released.

“He was a really brave young man,” Quinto said. “He handled it well. I was amazed at how well he handled it.”

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