Man rescued from Illahee ravine
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:02 AM
"A 34-year-old man who fell down a ravine in the mossy woods near Illahee State Park between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Aug. 23 was in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a back injury Thursday.Authorities refused to release the man's name.Firefighters from Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue and the Bremerton Fire Department ran more than 400 feet of rope down the steep hill and tied it to a stretcher on which the man was secured on his side. About a dozen rescuers hoisted the stretcher up switchbacks, through forest growth and over tree limbs while firefighters above kept the rope taut. Several firefighters holding the back of the stretcher lost their footing and slipped backward as they carried it through a large fern growing up a steep slope, though the stretcher remained stable.Though his identity still is unreleased, neighbors who live in houses above the ravine think the man might be one of several who were wandering around in the woods late the night before.As firefighters walked through his backyard to the ravine, Kenny G. Byrne, a resident on Fischer Place, said he heard men in the woods behind his home at around 11:30 p.m. Aug. 22 after he returned home from a sailing outing.Byrne said he called 911 because he thought the people might be approaching his property. He said he was extremely disappointed in the lack of response from law enforcement, adding they refused to send in search dogs. A deputy arrived around midnight and searched the area with a flashlight, but did not find anything and left, Byrne said. They left these people out behind my home all night without any concern for their safety or our safety. That's not what we pay them for, he said.Byrne thinks the people might have deliberately become quiet to evade police.While authorities are not positive the injured man is one of the men thought to be behind the property the night before, park ranger Steve Kendall said the assumption is a logical progression. It was the same area where we heard them the night before, he said.Kendall said he heard the man early in the morning Aug. 23 walking along a ridge, apparently talking to himself. He then heard a loud crashing sound as the man fell through the thick trees and brush. Kendall found the man in the gully, alternately sitting up and lying down, and moaning. In addition to being injured, the man appeared to be intoxicated. "