Gold Creek runs through Cope Park on March 30, 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Gold Creek runs through Cope Park on March 30, 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Two people rescued after falling in, near Gold Creek early Sunday

As Saturday turned to Sunday this weekend, two people fell down steep embankments in Cope Park and couldn’t get back up, Capital City Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Chad Cameron said Monday.

Cameron said one man and one woman fell, and that the man went into Gold Creek while the woman was able to stay out of the water. The woman suffered numerous lacerations. Both were taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital, Cameron said.

Bartlett spokesperson Katie Bausler said Monday night that the man was 53 years old and was intoxicated when he slipped down the embankment and fell into the creek. He arrived at the hospital at 1:43 a.m. Sunday and was treated and released, Bausler said. The woman was not treated at the hospital, Bausler said.

Officers from the Juneau Police Department responded to the scene first, Cameron said, and then called CCFR when they saw what the situation was.

CCFR responders strung up a rope-and-pulley system, Cameron said, to pull the two people up to safety. The woman was responsive and conscious, Cameron said. The man, however, was barely conscious and was having a hard time communicating with responders after being in the water, Cameron said. The man was very cold and was showing signs of hypothermia, Cameron said.

It took CCFR more than two hours to get both people safely up to higher ground, Cameron said. The two were about 75 yards apart, Cameron said, and were both located in a dark area of the creek near the tennis courts.

Strangely, Cameron said that when they asked the woman if she and the man knew each other, she responded that they did not. It’s strange, Cameron said, because he can’t remember having pulled someone out of that spot before.

The park, located near the Governor’s Mansion on Calhoun Avenue, gets dark at night.

“It was in a very dark area,” Cameron said. “I wouldn’t venture too far in the dark with no lights or flashlights.”

This is the second Gold Creek rescue in recent memory. In March 2017, Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School 14-year-old student Iosefa Riley John rescued 5-year-old Mason Varner, who slipped down an embankment and fell into the creek.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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