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Father speaks after he, his sons entered wrong canyon, became stuck for 3 days

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Posted at 9:00 PM, Apr 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-14 00:04:16-04

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah – A man and his two sons were rescued after they had been missing in Sandthrax Canyon for at least three days.

The family was rescued Saturday, and on Sunday the father sat down with FOX 13 News to discuss the rescue. See the video above for the father's interview.

Jason Knight and his two sons arrived in Hanksville Tuesday; Knight is from Payson and had come to the area to camp.

According to a press release from Wayne County officials, authorities were contacted Friday after a woman called to say she had seen a man and two boys enter the canyon with a day pack, and she said after three days they had still not returned to their camp.

Crews first located the overdue party’s car, and Saturday just before noon a Department of Public Safety helicopter found the two boys on a ledge at the top of the canyon. About 30 minutes later, the man was found 150 yards away. He was about 350 feet down toward the bottom of the canyon and had been trapped by the tight canyon walls.

Crews said the boys hadn’t seen their father since Wednesday when he told them to stay put to avoid further trouble. The boys had consumed all of their water Wednesday and had one granola bar to share.

The boys were extracted at about 1:45 p.m. Saturday and the father by about 4:26 p.m. The extractions were carried out by the high angle rescue team from Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials said the boys were dehydrated but otherwise OK. There were no serious injuries among the family.

According to the press release: “Wayne County Sheriff's Office would like to express their appreciation to all those who assisted with these rescue efforts. Garfield County Sheriff, Utah Department of Public Safety, and our own Wayne County Sheriff's Search & Rescue.”