Local News

Father and Daughter Rescued at Enchanted Rock

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On the 4th of July, a bright sunny day with temperatures at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area hovering around 100 degrees, a 23-year old father and his three-year old daughter became dehydrated in Turkey Canyon and were unable to walk back to their car. A rescue was in order, and the three-year old girl was taken out of the back country by the Willow City Volunteer Fire and Rescue. The father was air lifted by Travis County STAR Flight.

Rescues at Enchanted Rock are generally performed by TPWD staff with the assistance of Willow City Volunteer Fire and Rescue, and sometimes by Gillespie County EMS (the Gillespie County/Llano County line goes through the middle of the park). Willow City VFR are highly skilled and equipped for such rescues and often involve carrying a person out of the back country or off the domes in a litter.

Sometimes Travis County STAR Flight is called — by a 911 dispatcher after a call by the patient, or by park staff or rescuers. The helicopter sometimes lands on the granite domes to pick up the patient, in other places the terrain dictates that the patient is picked up in a STARFLIGHT bag on a cable and transported to the parking lot, where the patient is loaded into the helicopter.

The trip to Austin can cost as much as $15,000, although only half that much for Travis County residents.  The crew will return without the patient if they refuse the helicopter ride, but they would rather you consider your life more important than the money.  Helicopter rescues happen as often as twice in a weekend or as infrequently as once in three months.