Two Narrows Rescues on Memorial Day Weekend

May 26, 2014 Posted by: Zion National Park
Late afternoon on May 25, Zion Dispatch received a report of an individual with a lower leg injury in The Narrows near Big Spring. The injury occurred when a 32-year-old man attempted to jump from a rock over a deep part of the Virgin River. The rock was about four feet above the river surface. He suffered from a significant and painful left ankle injury and was unable to walk. Ranger/Medic Andrew Fitzgerald hiked to the patient's location, which was about four miles from the trailhead, and arrived just before dark. Due to the distance from the trailhead and the difficulty of managing a raft in the dark, a litter carryout was not completed until daylight hours the next day. Twenty park employees assisted during the incident. This serves as a good reminder that jumping is a leading cause of preventable injuries in the Zion Wilderness.

Shortly after the conclusion of the first Narrows incident, Zion Dispatch received a report of a 22- year-old man who had dislocated his knee in Orderville Canyon while down climbing an obstacle. The patient was able to reduce his dislocation but was unable to put any weight on the injured leg. Ranger/Medic Craig Thexton and a seven-person carryout team hiked to the patient's location, stabilized his injury, and carried him via raft and wheeled litter to the trailhead arriving about five hours after the initial report of the injury. 
The Search and Rescue team float a patient out of The Narrows in a raft.

Last updated: June 19, 2014

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