California hiker falls 70ft in Tahoe National Forest, dog saves him in ‘true Lassie fashion’, rescuers say

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A California hiker who fell 70 feet in the Tahoe National Forest last week was rescued by his dog in “true Lassie fashion” after the pup led rescuers to its injured owner, officials said.

The 53-year-old called 911 on his cell phone, complaining of a broken hip and rib, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Department said.

As the call fell, rescuers told KOVR-TV they were able to contact the hiker’s friend who directed them to the man’s campsite. But the crew of 25 did not immediately find the injured.

“When our searchers got to the area and found his camp, they couldn’t find him…so they spread out and searched the area,” said Sgt. Dennis Haack told the station.

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Black and white Border Collie Saul led rescuers to his injured owner in California’s Tahoe National Forest last week.
(Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue)

While combing the area, officials told KCRA-TV that the border collie of the man named Saul rushed towards rescuers.

The dog “ran through the forest for about 200 yards and ‘Lassie’ style to flag out two searchers and lead them back to the subject who was covered in camouflage tarp,” the rescue service said.

Rescuers brought the injured 53-year-old man to a sheriff's helicopter, who airlifted him to hospital.

Rescuers brought the injured 53-year-old man to a sheriff’s helicopter, who airlifted him to hospital.
(Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue)

Rescuers brought the man to a landing zone 800 meters away, where he was airlifted to hospital. No update was immediately available on the man’s condition.

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As for Saul, officials said man’s best friend was flown back to Grass Valley and “given a well-deserved dinner.”

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