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Man stranded by rising river in Zion National Park found dead the next day

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-29 14:06:47-04

ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah – Zion National Park officials have identified the man whose body was found there Sunday.

Douglas Yoshi Vo, 34, of Westminster, California was one of two individuals who got stuck in the area as the Virgin River swelled well beyond its normal size due to heavy rain fall.

According to a press release from park officials, the Vo’s body was found Sunday in the Virgin River Narrows inside the park.

Vo and another individual had entered the Narrows via the Riverside Walk Trail early Saturday morning while the river was flowing at an estimated 46 cubic feet per second.

Heavy rain fall increased that flow and at its peak the river was running 4,020 cfs.

The hikers became stranded on high ground but on opposite sides of the river and could not communicate due to the noise.

The pair waited from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for the water to recede.

The water had not receded by that time, so one hiker decided to try and exit the Narrows and reach the trail by swimming down the river.

The other hiker remained on high ground and was not injured or in distress at that time.

The hiker who went into the river made it out safely and found a park ranger about 6:30 p.m.

He told rangers about the stranded companion, and crews decided it would be best to wait until morning when the river had receded before going out to rescue the man.

The river was still running between 1,000 and 1,500 cfs, and the release stated that meant it was unsafe to enter the river from downstream.

Hikers aren’t allowed in the Narrows if stream flow exceeds 150 cfs.

Vo was not where the other hiker had last seen him when he returned to the area.

Crews found Vo’s body around 2 p.m. Sunday after searching for several hours.

Update: Click here for the latest from the National Parks Service