Chalk up another life saved by a gun. Huh? No really, it happens once in a while. And like lots of unreported DGUs, this won’t show up on any FBI statistical breakdown. Tim Bailey was on a 36-mile hike through Olympic National Park in Washington last Sunday – with his gun! – when he tumbled 150 feet down a ravine and broke his ankle. Though unable to get far, he had enough gear and smarts to keep himself alive for almost four days ’til help arrived. And he used his .45 to get the attention of rescuers . . .
He told columbian.com that once he set up some shelter, collected wood and got a fire going,
… he fired his pistol intermittently from Monday until he was found Wednesday and hoisted out of the ravine by helicopter.
He started with 14 rounds.
“I have five left,” Bailey said in a telephone interview as he and his wife, Whitney, 31, drove home Thursday.
Good boy. He didn’t just pack his heater, be brought an extra mag, too. The gunshots got the searchers into his general area where they found him when they spotted the smoke from his campfire. Paul Helmke was not available to comment.
It is legal to carry firearms in the park but illegal to discharge them inside the park for any reason, [park spokeswoman Rainey McKenna] said.
“If you are legally licensed to carry a firearm in Washington, it is legal to carry it in the park,” McKenna said. The punishment for firing a weapon can be up to six months in jail and $5,000.
“Charges could be pressed against someone, but it is unlikely if they are in a dire situation,” she said.
Good to know the National Park Service can be so magnanimous.