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Rescuer dies trying to save Washington state hiker: report

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[June 30, 2014]  (Reuters) - A 61-year-old volunteer search and rescue worker fell to his death in Washington state after trying to save a hiker who had earlier plunged about 100 feet at a waterfall in mountains north of Seattle, local media said on Sunday.

The 25-year-old hiker also died in the incident at Pilchuck Falls late Saturday, while a second hiker who got into trouble while trying to rescue his friend was able to be saved, Skagit County authorities told broadcaster KOMO-TV.

The pair apparently got separated from a larger group near Lake Cavanaugh, about 35 miles (56 km) north of Seattle. A Skagit County Search and Rescue team, including the volunteer who died, was training nearby and went to help them.

Representatives of the Skagit County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The dead men have not yet been named, KOMO-TV said.

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The Skagit County Search and Rescue team says on its Facebook page that it is a volunteer unit that has been saving lives for more than 35 years. A spokeswoman for the team referred questions to the sheriff's office.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Diane Craft)

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