Hiker Spinning Under Helicopter Rescue: Katalin Metro
After an incredibly harrowing rescue, The hiker spinning under helicopter rescue patient, Katalin Metro, 74, told NBC News affiliate KPNX, “I thought I was going to die.” After hiking in Piestewa Peak in Arizona, along with her husband, George Metro, Katalin fell, breaking her nose and hurting her hand and leg, rescuers made the decision to airlift her to safety to mitigate any further injury. Unfortunately, the 74 year old senior citizen went on a crazy, spinning ride when the rescue went horribly wrong.
After being loaded into a Heli Rescue Bag and a Stokes Basket, things got interesting for Metro. As rescuers began to raise her into the air, they looked on in horror as the basket began to spin out of control. The crew and husband, George could only look on as the spinning became worse and worse.
“They just — one of them said, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I think they were waiting for the spinning to stop, just like I was.”George Metro
George confirmed that his wife was still feeling dizzy and nauseated days after the rescue, noting that his wife was able to stay calm and do deep breathing exercises during the ordeal. She rapidly spun at least 174 times during the rescue attempt.
“The blood was going to her head and eyeballs. The first thing she said was, ‘I’m glad I’m alive,’” Katalin’s husband stated. “She thought she was going to die when she was spinning.”
Firefighter say the spinning is incredibly rare, a phenomenon caused by the downward draft of the rotors. Paul Apolinar, Phoenix Police Lead Pilot said that in over 210 rescues, this has only happened twice.
Katalin Metro was taken to the hospital and was treated for her injuries as well as the spinning from her rescue. No permanent damage occurred.
Check out the video of the rescue below.