Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

CHALLIS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A Custer County search and rescue team is being credited with saving the life of a rafter. Carla Ponc, 30, of London, England was on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River when she broke her ankle in a fall. She was rock climbing near Big Bend Campground about 1 mile north of Boundary Creek. Using a texting system to a third party, the rafting team contacted Custer County Dispatch by phone at around 11 p.m. Monday.

Because weather made an air rescue difficult, the victim was floated downstream half a mile to a landing zone where should be picked up early Tuesday. But the weather did not clear until late Tuesday afternoon. The rafting party then floated down river another 15 miles to Indian Creek where Ponc could rest in an airstrip cabin. Custer County Search and Rescue organized a team to pick her up at Indian Creek with help from a Middle Fork Aviation fixed wing aircraft. When the team reached the victim, she was in poor condition. She was flown out of Indian Creek to Salmon and taken to Steele Memorial Medical Center by Salmon ambulance. She was listed in good condition at Steele Memorial Wednesday afternoon.

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