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Man rescued in climbing mishap


A Spokane man was rescued Saturday through the efforts of a number of agencies after injuring his leg while climbing high on the rocks behind Osborne Bay.

Nicholas Vange, 21, who had been camping in the area, along with another man, Nicholas Largent, also of Spokane, had been hiking high in the rocky ledges on the coulee hillside above Banks Lake when he ran into trouble.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call at 11:15 a.m. but was unable to immediately respond. Grand Coulee police officer Chris McClanahan was on the scene until others arrived.

McClanahan’s report stated that he overheard a dispatch communication and headed to the area and was stopped along the way and guided to the area where Vange was located.

McClanahan stated that he could see the injured climber but he was far enough up the embankment that he couldn’t communicate with him.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ended up as lead agency in the rescue operation because of its expertise in roping, with members of the fire station working their way around the rocks to get to Vange. It was reported that he had an injury to his lower leg.

Using a system of ropes in the high angle rescue, Bureau fire officials cautiously lowered Vange, using some 500 feet of rope so personnel at ground level could reach him.

Vange was taken by Grand Coulee ambulance to Coulee Medical Center for treatment.

Rescuers had to climb over and up loose vertical rock to get to Vange. The entire rescue operation took nearly six hours.

Agencies taking part in addition to the Bureau of Reclamation were Grand Coulee ambulance, Electric City Fire Department, Grand Coulee Fire Department, Grand Coulee police and Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

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