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Turbulence from Rescue Chopper Triggers Landslide, Injures Stranded Kayaker

SANDY, Ore. (AP) — A kayaker stranded overnight near rapids on the Sandy River was hauled to safety Sunday, but not before turbulence from a rescue helicopter triggered a landslide that injured his shoulder.

The kayaker, Ashish Mishra, 26, of Portland, was taken to Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center in Gresham, Nate Thompson, a Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy, said in a news release.

Mishra had been kayaking with friends Saturday evening when he veered into a dangerous part of the river and became separated from his kayak. He made it to a patch of shore between two large cliffs and powerful rapids, and one of his friends floated downstream and found a fisherman, who called police.

Water rescue teams were unable to reach him Saturday night, and the efforts were suspended until daybreak Sunday. A Blackhawk helicopter crew from the Army Air National Guard arrived Sunday morning, but the rotor wash triggered a landslide that sent large rocks and trees down toward Mishra and members of Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, who were assessing Mishra’s location.

Authorities determined that it was too dangerous to keep using the helicopter. Instead, a rescuer rappelled down to him, helped him into a harness and then hoisted him about 100 feet up the cliff. Members of the search-and-rescue team placed his arm in a sling and walked with him one-quarter mile to a waiting ambulance.

More than two dozen volunteers and eight firefighters took part in the rescue.

Meanwhile, four members of a Dallas family are safe after they went into the water while kayaking on the North Santiam River on Saturday. Two were able to make it to shore, but the father and son were stranded on rocks in the middle of the river, with swift currents on either side.

They were plucked from the river by a Salem-based Oregon Army National Guard helicopter Saturday evening.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com