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Crews rescue hikers

July 08, 2003

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - Firefighters and rescuers went to the Maryland Heights overlook off Sandy Hook Road to rescue two hikers in distress Sunday night.

When Potomac Valley firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday, they reported two hikers stranded on the mountain above the CSX railroad tracks next to the Potomac River.

"We had a young man and woman who had been rappelling on the cliff and got separated during an earlier storm," Potomac Valley Fire Chief Ronnie Gray said. The hikers had been rappelling together, but lost track of each other.

Assisted by personnel from Brunswick, Sharpsburg, Harpers Ferry park rangers and the Special Operations unit from Washington County, rescuers had to contend with a second storm that passed through the area during the rescue efforts.

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"We were a little worried when we first heard about the second storm, but it wasn't so bad," Gray said.

The hikers were unhurt, but may have been a little chilled because of the rain, rescuers said.

At 9:13 p.m., firefighters reported that the rescue had been successful.

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