August 16, 2009

No copter rescue for hiker with hurt thumb

New Hampshire authorities told a mountain hiker Saturday an injured thumb didn't qualify him for a helicopter rescue.

The 50-year old Texan injured his thumb while hiking with a group on the 3,251-foot Mount Crescent in the Icy Gulch area.

Authorities, who did not release the man's name, said members of his hiking party were headed to help him, The New Hampshire Union Leader reported.

The Gorham Fish and Game office got a cell phone call from the man.

An officer from Gorham talked to the individual, who wanted a helicopter, and advised that for a thumb injury, and especially with a group of people heading up to help him, that it would not be practical to send in a rescue helicopter, conservation officer Matt Holmes said.

Holmes said this isn't the first request for a rescue for injuries that are less than life-threatening. Some people ask for emergency services to carry their dog. Then there was the woman who called to be rescued because she couldn't find her shoes.

It's just prior to 7 p.m., Holmes said. Who knows what else we may get tonight?

Holmes said he couldn't risk spreading rescue workers thin by sending a rescue team for a minor injury.