First responders used ropes to rescue a Rapid City man who fell 150 to 200 feet into a ravine in the Badlands National Park during a thunderstorm Wednesday evening, according to a news release from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.
Photographs taken by the sheriff's office show that rescuers set up bright lights, rappelled down the ravine and brought the man back up in a litter, or rescue basket.
The 23-year-old man started walking in the park after his car broke down, the release says. He called 911 around 9:30 p.m. after falling into a rock crevice and becoming wedged between two rocks near the Sheep Mountain Overlook.
"As the rains, wind and lightning picked up, law enforcement lost communication with the man," the release says.
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But a member of Pennington County Search and Rescue heard the man's screams, and the man was rescued around 12:30 a.m. Thursday by the search and rescue team, medics with the Rapid City Fire Department and park rangers who "executed a rope rescue in difficult terrain during a thunderstorm."
"Their quick response and ability to work through extreme weather conditions and mud in the dark potentially saved a man’s life," Sheriff Kevin Thom said of the first responders.
The man was taken by ambulance to the Rapid City hospital in stable condition, according to Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Helene Duhamel.