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Woman Has to Be Rescued After Falling Head-First Into Vault Toilet While Trying to Save Her Phone

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If you have a cellphone, you’ve probably misplaced it before. They end up in the strangest places sometimes — falling out of pockets, getting left on top of cars or simply being set somewhere and forgotten.

Many of us have probably experienced the momentary panic that comes with nearly dropping our phones, but few of us have had an experience quite as visceral as one woman in her 40s from California who was visiting Washington earlier this week.

The woman — who has remained unnamed for obvious reasons — first encountered disaster when using a toilet on the top of Mt. Walker at the Olympic National Forest on Tuesday.

Somehow, during her bathroom visit, she dropped her phone into the toilet.


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Of course, these weren’t the toilets you’d find in more traveled areas with modernities like a sewer system; these were vault toilets — glorified porta-potties boasting underground vats of refuse.

But this woman was not about to accept defeat. Removing the seat and toilet housing, she rigged up a system using her dog’s leash to try to retrieve her phone, which must have still been visible at the time.

The trouble worsened dramatically when she then used the leash “to help support herself,” according to the Brinnon Fire Department’s post.

The leash “failed.” The woman fell in.


Still not surrendering, the woman gave it her all for nearly 20 minutes, trying to claw her way out of the hellish pool she’d dropped into.

Despite being the cause of all her grief, it was the phone that ultimately saved her: Somehow, it still worked, and she was able to call 911 after admitting she’d been bested by the pit of despair.

“Brinnon FD Rescue 41 and Quilcene F&R Aid 21 responded to the mountain top,” the Brinnon Fire Department’s post reads. “Upon arrival, they found the woman as described.


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“The crews made a makeshift cribbing platform by passing them down to the patient. After making it tall enough for her to stand on, the crew pulled the victim to safety.”

The woman said she was unharmed and refused medical attention, though she was hosed down and given a Tyvek suit to wear. She made it quite clear all she wanted to do was leave.

While it was a blessing that she was not “overcome by toxic gases” or truly injured, rescuers strongly suggested that she visit a doctor after her exposure to the “elements.”

Commenters have expressed a variety of sentiments, ranging from pity and disgust to real concern for the woman’s health, many of them mentioning this scenario as being a particular fear for them.

One thing’s for sure: This woman’s trip turned out to be one unforgettable vacation.

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

Western Journal

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