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Contact: Ron Terry, 435-772-0160
The body of a second man was found in Zion National Park at approximately 1:40 p.m. on Monday, April 26, 2010. Searchers found the body in the North Fork of the Virgin River near the Big Bend Shuttle Stop in Zion Canyon. The first body was discovered earlier in the day in the river near the Gateway to the Narrows. The bodies were determined to be those of two overdue rafters the National Park Service had been searching for since Sunday. The names of the two men will not be released until all family members have been notified.
A search for the men began on Sunday, when they were reported overdue from a trip through the Zion Narrows. It was reported that their intent was to hike to the confluence with Deep Creek, construct a log raft, and float through The Narrows. They were planning to finish the 47-50 mile trip on Saturday afternoon in Hurricane, Utah.
At the time, the North Fork of the Virgin River was running about 250 cubic feet per second and the water temperature was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They had no cold water gear or personal flotation devices and little food. They did not check in with park rangers before the trip and if they had, would not have received a permit due to inappropriate planning and lack of personal safety equipment.
Both fatalities are being investigated by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the National Park Service. This is standard procedure in the case of fatalities in the park.
All areas of Zion Canyon that were temporarily closed during the search and body recoveries have now been reopened to the public.