Washington Man in Recovery After Surviving Dramatic Fall in Olympic National Park

Another hiker captured video of the man's fall down a waterfall.

ByMICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN
May 29, 2016, 1:10 PM

— -- A 30-year-old Washington man whose survival after he was carried over a 70-foot waterfall in Olympic National Park was called a "miracle" says he's learned his lesson from the terrifying adventure.

Josh Riechert, of Lynnwood, was hiking in the park with his wife last weekend to celebrate their anniversary when the accident happened. He walked out on some rocks in order to get better access to the water flowing through Sol Duc River, which runs through the park, when he slipped and got caught up in its current.

The hiker then tumbled into Sol Duc Falls, a picturesque waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation and mossy rocks, and was swept away, crossing underneath a log and down two more layers of chutes before landing.

Video of the fall was captured by Portland, Oregon, resident Sandy Wilson, who told ABC News that she filmed the incident because she feels "tired of people disrespecting" America's national parks.

In video captured by Wilson, Riechert's wife Katrina Kim, who witnessed the accident, can be heard screaming in the background.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," Kim told "Good Morning America." "I was just shouting that my husband is gone."

Reichert suffered bumps and bruises, hypothermia, and a shattered heel in the fall, which he estimated lasted approximately five minutes. He was on the ground with emergency care workers for nine and half hours, before being pulled to safety by Olympic Mountain Rescue, which is a "volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives through rescue and mountain safety education", according to their Facebook page.

Rescuer Nate Thompson called Riechert's case "a miracle," and said he had expected the injuries he received to be "a lot worse."

"Don't ever risk anything so life-threatening over something so small," Riechert told Good Morning America regarding the incident.

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