Two Rescues off Angel's Landing in One Day

July 11, 2016 Posted by: Zion National Park

On May 28, 2016 at about 9:00am Zion Dispatch received a 911 call via Washington County. The reporting party (RP) stated that a male individual had broken his leg at the top of Angels Landing. Rangers were able to speak to an ER doctor who was on scene with the subject. The doctor reported that she believed the subject had sustained a tib-fib fracture of the right leg. She described the injury as deformed and angulated. She also advised that the subject was unable to bear weight on the leg and were also told that the patient had "jumped off a rock and broke his leg".

A short-haul qualified medic was sent to Angels Landing along with 3 other SAR responders who closed Angels Landing during the short-haul operation. A helicopter from the Grand Canyon responded with a short-haul spotter.

Once the patient was treated and packaged for short-haul, and the top of Angels Landing was cleared of visitors, the patient and rescuer were short-hauled from the top of Angels Landing to the helispot at Zion Lodge. The patient was then transported via Zion Ambulance to Dixie Regional at 2:30pm.

Lessons learned: Recognize where you are and the consequences of getting hurt there. Do not take any unnecessary risks. Do not assume that a helicopter is going to come and rescue you. 

On May 28, 2016 at 5:30pm Zion Dispatch received a report of a broken 911 call to Washington County dispatch about a person on Angels Landing feeling faint. At 5:45pm, Zion dispatch was able to talk to a reporting party (RP) who reported a 25 year old female who was feeling like she was going to faint. They were requesting help getting her out as they did not believe she was going to be able to walk out on her own. Her location to dispatch was given as below Walter's Wiggles. Rangers were able to talk to a second individual in the group who was also asking for help and said the patient was below the "tight switchbacks".

A medic was sent up the trail and made contact with the patient at 7:19pm. The patient was located along the fin of Angels Landing, about 10 minutes up from Scout's Lookout, different from where the PR's had stated.

Medical attention was given to the patient before attempting to move her down the chains to Scout's Lookout. When the patient was able to move she was placed in a harness, attached to the chains and moved down the fin to Scout's Lookout. The litter team of 6 began moving down the trail from Scout's Lookout with the patient and arrived at the trailhead at 9:40pm.

The patient told rescuers that she had worked a graveyard shift the previous night before driving up to Zion and had not slept in over 20hrs.

Lessons Learned: Make sure you are physically fit and well rested before attempting any recreational activities in Zion National Park. Keep yourself hydrated and turn around if you do not feel well. Be willing and able to help yourself.

Search and Rescue, jumping, Water, Helicopter

Last updated: July 20, 2016

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