A Vancouver man and his dog were rescued Sunday afternoon after becoming stuck on a ledge about 100 feet above the Kalama River.
Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched shortly before 1 p.m. after the man and his dog were stranded above the fast-moving river near Fallert Road. The man, identified as Nathan J. Mueller, 44, had been looking for his dog, according to an agency news release.
Responding deputies heard Mueller yelling, and found him in a heavily timbered, deep ravine. Mueller and his dog were on a ledge, above a 100- to 150-foot sheer drop, the news release states.
The rescue was hampered by steep terrain and slick mud. Still, deputies said they moved quickly to rescue Mueller and his dog, citing the risk of hypothermia and Mueller falling.
Deputies James Doyle and Landen Jones, both military veterans with rappelling experience, prepared ropes and gathered medical supplies. Doyle rappelled to Mueller while Jones belayed. Doyle scrambled down an overgrown landslide and used a makeshift harness to try to retrieve Mueller’s “uncooperative” dog, the sheriff’s office said.
A member of the Clark County Fire Rope Rescue Team, as well as Cowlitz County Fire District 5, arrived and assisted.
Rescuers eventually moved Mueller and his dog to safer ground, the sheriff’s office said.
“Based on the quick thinking, technical experience and bravery demonstrated by these emergency responders, Mr. Mueller and his dog were brought to safety without injury or delay,” the sheriff’s office said.
“The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office commends the efforts of Deputy James Doyle and Deputy Landen Jones.”