SOUTHERN UTAH – A 62-year-old man who officials said spent two nights in the wilderness was located by search and rescue crews Sunday morning, and a medical condition complicated the man’s plight.
The man, visiting from California, had a permit to hike The Wave Friday and officials said it appears the man fell an unknown distance.
Camille Johnson, Public Information Officer for Kane County, said the man has diabetes, which meant he wasn’t very coherent when crews located him. Specific details regarding the man’s injuries and condition were not immediately available.
Officials were contacted Saturday about a missing hiker, and they searched the area by air and ground until about 1 a.m. Sunday. The search resumed at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday with 11 people on foot, five on horseback and a crew in a helicopter. The man was found near the Arizona and Utah border later that morning.
The Wave is a sandstone formation on land managed by the BLM, and the popular hiking spot can only be accessed by those with a day-use permit. The permits are limited and awarded on a lottery basis.
The search was initiated after the man’s family contacted the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
Last year several people died, possibly due to heat related issues, in July at The Wave. The victims included an elderly couple and a woman who got lost with her husband while celebrating their wedding anniversary. The incidents caused the BLM to make changes regarding safety regulations at the location.