Parks Join Forces to Rescue Injured Hiker

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Date: June 6, 2011


National Park Service rangers from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) and Grand Canyon National Park (NP) joined forces on Saturday, June 4, to rescue an injured hiker from an unnamed canyon near Halls Crossing on Lake Powell.

On June 3, about 9:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), Glen Canyon rangers received a report of a hiker in a canyon near Halls Crossing, UT with a possible broken leg. Glen Canyon ranger Tim Sveum responded by boat with staff from Utah State Parks and arrived on scene about 10:30 p.m. MDT. The injured hiker, a teenager from Buena Vista, CO, had taken a fall in a very narrow canyon and had suffered a broken leg. The family group had lowered one of the other members into the canyon by rope to see if the victim could be taken out. This individual then found it impossible to get out of the canyon as well.

After assessing both the patient and the scene, Ranger Sveum determined that the patient was stable and that a technical rescue in the dark would be too dangerous. The group lowered food, water, and sleeping bags to the victim and his friend. Ranger Sveum instructed the two individuals to bivouac for the night and he would facilitate a rescue for them in the morning.

There were no safe anchor points on the canyon rim for a technical rescue, so the decision was made to do a short haul rescue by helicopter. Staff from Grand Canyon NP was contacted and arrangements were made for their helicopter to assist in the rescue the next day.

About 10:30 a.m. MDT on June 4, the Grand Canyon helicopter was on scene and lowered a rescuer into the canyon. He prepared the patient and his friend to be lifted out of the canyon. Once out of the canyon, the victim was transported to Halls Crossing by Glen Canyon staff and then flown on Classic Lifeguard to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, CO for treatment.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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