Hiker, Rescuer Both Die at Wash. Waterfall
After hikers fall, tragedy strikes search and rescue team
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A group of hikers got into trouble Saturday at Washington state's Pilchuck Falls, and the night ended with one hiker and one rescuer dead. Four people were on a logging road near the falls when two of them decided to "work their way down toward the falls," an officer tells the Bellingham Herald. One, a 25-year-old man, fell about 100 feet. The other tried to reach him and then started to fall himself. He clung to a tree until search and rescue personnel arrived and he was saved, but a 62-year-old search and rescue volunteer fell to his death.

The falls are 14 feet high, 60 feet wide, and located in a steep ravine with rugged, precipitous, slippery terrain. Ropes are required to traverse the trail to the falls, a trail that devolves in at least one point to a "giant mudhole," according to one hiking blog. The rescue volunteer who perished has been identified as JB Bryson, KING-5 reports. He had just joined the team eight months ago, and it "was his dream job," his daughter says. "He wanted to play in the woods professionally." Both bodies were recovered yesterday.