Man rescued from ‘refrigerator sized’ boulder near Lake Viviane

Oct 12, 2022, 7:20 AM | Updated: 9:45 am
Photo from Flickr @MattPirotto

A boulder described as being approximately “the size of a refrigerator” threatened the life of a Montana man as he was hiking south of Leavenworth Monday.

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office says 28-year-old Ben Delahunty became trapped underneath the massive rock Monday while he and a friend were exploring an area near Lake Viviane.

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Delahunty’s friend was able to call for help and told operators his wrist and legs were pinned, and they were unable to push the boulder off of him.

Because of the size of the boulder, the remote location of the men, and windy weather conditions, it took multiple rescue organizations to find a way to assist.

RiverCom dispatch contacted the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, requesting a hoist helicopter from the state Department of Emergency Management. In addition, the Wenatchee Valley Fire Department was asked to supply air bladders that could be inflated at the site of the accident to lift the boulder off of the man. Ultimately, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Rescue Team supplied their own hoist helicopter to assist.

At around 12:20 p.m., the SCSO’s SnoHawk10 was able to drop off the first squad of paramedics at the scene.

It took several hours to bring rescuers to the scene – and they found they needed to use ropes to get to the area he was located and ensure the safety of everyone there.

Using air bladders to lift the boulder, the team rescued the man around 3:00 p.m.

The entire rescue operation took more than eleven hours.

Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies say Delahunty was flown to Central Washington Hospital with “significant” injuries to one of his legs, and he is expected to recover.

In a news release sent by the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, the rescue operation was described as one that presented challenges not seen very often – and one that could not have been accomplished without the partnerships established with local and out-of-area agencies.

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Man rescued from ‘refrigerator sized’ boulder near Lake Viviane