Rescue crew: Missing Mount St. Helens hiker found collapsed in a canyon, swarmed by bees

Matthew Matheny. (Contributed Photo)

The mountaineers who saved a stranded hiker on Mount St. Helens say they were lucky to find him so quickly.

"We'd been in the forest looking for him for 26 minutes," said Stephen Collett.

The Volcano Rescue Team had been on standby for days while other search-and-rescue teams looked for Matthew Matheny, the stranded hiker from Ohio. The group is filled with skilled mountaineers, but getting Matheny off the mountain wasn't their first job. Instead, they needed to get a swarm of bees off him.

"Immediately started thinking two steps ahead," said Laura Dawkins, an EMT with Volcano Rescue Team. "What are we going to need to get the patient out? Are we going to be able to stretcher him to an ambulance to take a helicopter?"

Matheny was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. He was released Thursday night.

The hiker was found Wednesday morning in a canyon on Mount St Helens, and while that provided shade, the rescue team that pulled him out doubt he intentionally picked the spot.

"He collapsed. That's where he fell. He was curled up in the fetal position (and) could no longer move. He moved until he was done," Collett said.

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