A 33-year-old Arizona man was rescued early Tuesday morning after he fell 100 feet while rappelling in Zion National Park.
It happened in a remote area of Behunin Canyon, above the Emerald Pools. Park rangers said they were first notified about the incident at 5 p.m. Monday.
Park medics reached the victim shortly after midnight. When they arrived, they found the man had sustained significant leg, hip, arm and head injuries.
Due to the severity of his injuries and the remote location, Rescue Squadron 66 from Nellis Air Force Base was called in to extract the man.
The NAFB rescuers extracted the victim and his wife at 2:23 a.m. The victim was taken to University Medical Trauma Center in Las Vegas.
“Considering the weather, we were very lucky Nellis Air Rescue was able to respond,” Chief Ranger Cindy Purcell said in a press release about the incident. “That and his helmet probably saved his life. His party seemed well prepared for an extended day with extra clothing, first aid kit, water filter, headlamps and a space blanket. They were also able to self-rescue and provide an early report, which helped.”
The park medics who responded to the scene spent the night in the canyon and were able to hike out by 1 p.m. Tuesday.