Fatality in Not Imlay Canyon

April 21, 2016 Posted by: Zion National Park

On October 2, 2015 at approximately 12:45pm, Zion Dispatch received a call from the about an activation of a satellite emergency notification device (SEND). The devices SOS signal was coordinated to be in the vicinity of Imlay Canyon;a technical canyoneering route. Over the next few hours the SEND device was repeatedly turned on and off, effectively canceling and reactivating the SOS signal. A ranger was sent to the exit rout area to see if there was any information regarding the SEND device and Imlay Canyon. Meanwhile arrangements were made to have Classic Helicopter come and do an aerial search for a group in Imlay Canyon.

At approximately 2:15pm, two individuals at the Grotto reported a fall that had occurred in Not Imlay Canyon at the first rappel about one and a half hours prior. Their group of 4 planned to rappel this canyon, when the first person on rappel fell and was not responsive to shouts from the canyon rim. A SEND device was activated immediately while two of the group members hiked out to the Grotto to report the incident. The third group member remained on scene with the SEND device. With helicopter support, Rangers were able to respond to the Canyon and rappel to the fallen individual confirming he had not survived the fall of approximately 200+ feet. The investigation revealed that the group did not have sufficient rope length at the first rappel and the individual had fallen over 200 feet to the bottom of a second rappel in the canyon.

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Last updated: April 21, 2016

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