Crews rescue 74-year-old Oregon man who fell nearly 40 feet off waterfall

A 74-year-old Oregon man was rescued after falling nearly 40 feet over a cliff near the base of Sahalie Falls.

In a social media post, the Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District said that first responders arrived at the base of the falls on Wednesday afternoon after reports of a hiker down.

The man had fallen approximately 40 feet over a cliff near the base of the falls.

“Thankfully, he sustained non-life-threatening injuries but was unable to walk and extremely cold due to being so close to the falls,” the Fire District said.


Sahalie Falls in Oregon

At 10:32 on Wednesday morning, Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District was dispatched to a report of a Technical Rescue at Sahalie Falls. (Sweet Home Fire District via Facebook)

Lane and Linn County Search and Rescue teams set up a lengthy rope system to “to raise the patient up the face of a cliff to the trail where he was then carried back down to the parking lot approximately a half-mile away,” the Fire Department said.

During the treacherous climb, rescuers decided to use a helicopter call to lift the man to Riverbend Hospital.

Rescue operations

A 74-year-old man sustained non-life-threatening injuries, but was unable to walk. (Sweet Home Fire District via Facebook)

Rescue operations on the mountain

The lengthy rescue involved rope systems to raise the injured hiker up the face of a cliff to the trail, where he was then carried back down to the parking lot approximately a half-mile away. (Sweet Home Fire District via Facebook)

Due to the remote area of the hike, the landing zone was established by a nearby highway.


First responders thanked the multiple agencies used to insure a safe rescue, while reminding residents to stay safe while outdoors.

“We would like to thank our outstanding partners who helped make this a successful outcome,” the release said. “We would also like to take this time and remind all of you to be safe when enjoying the outdoors. Plan ahead and know your limitations to help you stay safe.”


A helicopter crew met rescue personnel and the 74-year-old victim, who was airlifted to a nearby hospital. (Sweet Home Fire District via Facebook)

Sahalie Falls are located along the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and West Cascades National Scenic Byways off Highway 126 along Oregon’s Cascade Mountain Range. 

The loop trail is approximately 2.4 miles long.

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