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Man Rescued After Fall at Grand Canyon National Park

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Date: June 21, 2009
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – A 60 year-old Boulder, Colorado man was rescued this morning after he slipped and fell while hiking in the Grand Canyon. The man was climbing in a drainage off of the South Rim’s popular Bright Angel Trail approximately two miles below the rim when the incident occurred.

A member of his hiking party called 9-1-1 and reported the incident to dispatchers in the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center. The caller reported that although the man only fell a short distance, he had landed on his head and he appeared to be disoriented. Park rangers responded and immediately began treating the man for his injuries.

Because of the location and the type of injuries, rangers called for the park helicopter and transported the man to a nearby helispot using a short-haul operation. The procedure involved a rescuer on a fixed line with the patient, both extended below the helicopter. Once at the helispot rangers then loaded the man into the helicopter and flew him to the South Rim Helibase. From there he was flown by a Guardian air ambulance to the Flagstaff Medical Center, where he is being treated for his injuries.

Approximately 18 National Park Service personnel were involved in the incident.

To learn about hiking safety tips, park rangers recommend visiting the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm or calling the Backcountry Information Center at 298-638-7875.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

SWITCHBACKS ON BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL

Each year, thousands of hikers enter the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. They follow a route established by prehistoric people for two key reasons: water and access. Water emerges from springs at Indian Garden, and a fault creates a break in the cliffs, providing access to the springs.