Hiker Dies from Fall while Rock Climbing

Hiker Dies from Fall while Rock Climbing

Lightning storm delays rescue effort.


Technical rescue units stage in the parking lot near Old Anglers Inn on MacArthur Boulevard in Potomac on Sunday, Aug. 31, for rescue of a hiker on Offut Island.


Duty Shift Chief John Gallo, Battalion Chief Tracey Coleman and others confer about Potomac River rescue on Sunday. The hiker died of his injuries on the scene.

Timeline, via twitter

Pete Piringer @mcfrsPIO

4:51pm · 31 Aug 2014

Tech Rescue - Offut Island, Potomac River (Command at Old Anglers), hiker stuck/trapped by rocks/boulder, Swift Water Rescue & other enroute

5:14pm · 31 Aug 2014

U/D Offut Isl: tech rescue; US Park Eagle overhead; #MCFRS boat teams enroute w/ heavy rescue + EMS equipment, 25yo male trapped under Rock heavy rescue (i.e., air bags, etc) needed

5:23pm · 31 Aug 2014

U/D: Offut Is: #MCFRS EMS crews on scene w/victim; 25 yo male trapped, serious injuries,

5:25pm · 31 Aug 2014

Potomac River Ops Command post located at Old Anglers boat ramp, swift water rescue boats deployed, crews monitoring weather

6:14pm · 31 Aug 2014

Tech Rescue - Potomac River Ops have been suspended due to severe weather , thunder & lightning;#MCFRS EMS & rescue crews on Offut Is scene

6:25pm · 31 Aug 2014

Offut Island #mcfrs Tech Rescue, EMS crews advise victim is trapped under large Rock &!has Priority 1 injuries, serious & life-threat

6:36pm · 31 Aug 2014

Potomac River/Offut Island #mcfrs Tech rescue still suspended due to weather, however it is expected to clear shortly, MoCo PD assisting

6:55pm · 31 Aug 2014

U/D #mcfrs EMS & MCPD advise the 25YO male did not survive - MCPD will conduct death investigation & rescue will assist w/ recovery ops

8:36pm · 31 Aug 2014

Offut Island recovery ops, MoCoPD investigation continues, #mcfrs rescue techs & medics have extricated trapped victim, w/ plans to relocate

8:46pm · 31 Aug 2014

Dozens of #mcfrs Tech Rescue Team on scene, assisted By FFxCo Va Tech rescue & US Park. Eagle, victim extricated, moved to boat to relocate

10:37pm · 31 Aug 2014

MCPD Death Investigation continues, Rock climber injured & dies on Offut Island near Great Falls, #mcfrs swift water & tech rescue responded

10:40pm · 31 Aug 2014

Update: Victim was removed & transported via boat, 3 #mcfrs boats have retrieved all equip & personnel off island & returning to Old Anglers

On Sunday afternoon, Aug. 31, Rian Avarham Khalder, 25 of Silver Spring, was hiking with his 14-year-old brother along the Potomac River. As Khalder was climbing on rocks on a part of the river just south of Old Angler’s Inn, the rocks broke lose.

“As he was climbing upward, a portion of the rocks gave way, the subject fell, with rocks, including one large boulder, coming down on him,” according to the police report.

The call for rescue crews came in at 4:38 p.m., and by 5:25, a Potomac River Operations command post was set up at the Old Anglers access to the river. The rescue and recovery effort would include National Park Service helicopter, swift water rescue boats from Montgomery County, dozens of Montgomery fire and rescue personnel, Fairfax County rescue personnel and heavy rescue equipment, including airbags, to lift the boulder off of the victim.

As the rescue teams were assessing around 6 p.m., the sky turned black and an intense lightning storm with many nearby lightning strikes forced the suspension of the rescue effort for more than half an hour.

By 6:52 pm the operation shifted from rescue to recovery. At 6:55 p.m., Pete Piringer, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said, via twitter: “EMS & MCPD advise the 25YO male did not survive - MCPD will conduct death investigation & rescue will assist w/ recovery ops.”

It took until nearly 11 p.m. to recover the victim’s body and move rescue crews off the island.

The next afternoon, on Labor Day, rescue workers were back along the Billy Goat trial for another call for an injured hiker. A woman hiker with an injured leg was located and lifted by helicopter hoist. Her injuries were not life threatening.

If anyone has information regarding the fatal event, they are asked to call the police at 240-773-5070