Sunday, April 13, 2008

Snowmobiler falls into volcano

A man was evacuated by helicopter after falling into the crater of Mt. St. Helens while snowmobiling on the mountain Saturday. John Slemp, 52, of Damascus rode his snowmobile along with two others to the west rim of the crater at Mt. St. Helens.

Slemp got off his snowmobile and walked out onto a cornice overhanging the crater when it gave way, according to police. Slemp reportedly fell about 100 to 200 feet before landing on the interior slope of the crater. He then slid on hands and knees to the bottom of the crater.

There was no immediate official word on Slemp's injuries. He was taken to Yacolt, Washington to receive medical care.

The call for help came around 5:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Rescue crews from Skamania County Sheriff and the Clark County Volcano Rescue Team responded to the call from a man who reported his friend had fallen inside the crater of Mt. St. Helens.

The man’s friend used a two-way radio to call for help. The signal was picked up by a man in Mossy Rock who then contacted 9-1-1 for help.

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