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Good Samaritan rescues man after rope malfunction leaves him hanging for an hour in Bridal Veil Falls

Posted at 9:57 AM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-01 11:57:30-04

UTAH COUNTY -- A good Samaritan rescued an Orem man who spent nearly an hour hanging in the water at Bridal Veil Falls Friday due to a faulty knot.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Office said crews worked to bring  22-year-old Kendall Barlow down from the mountain.

“There comes a point where the back up plans just kind of run out, so it’s like, alright I got to think of something else," Barlow said. "That’s when I just said that prayer and said, you know, just please help me, because I got myself in a little bit of a mess you know.”

The incident began around 8:30 a.m. Barlow and his girlfriend were rappelling through the waterfall, which Cannon said is a fairly common activity in the area and something that can be done safely.

Barlow got separated from his girlfriend and became stuck due to a faulty knot. Cannon said he was in the water of the falls for about an hour.

Zander Smith happened to be in the area to do some climbing and said someone asked him to rappel down and assist the victim. Smith is from Hamilton, Montana but attends college in Utah County.

“I grabbed my rope, a harness and a helmet, and I took off up there.”

Barlow was in rough shape.

“He was blue, he was blue all over," Smith said.

Smith secured him to his own harness and then cut the rope with the faulty knot to allow both to descend safely to the ground.

 “At that point I decided that you know, we’d better just cut the rope," Smith said.  "And I had harnessed him to me with a few points of failure to make sure, you know if his rope came untied, or if it broke, that he would be tied to me and that the rope was secure.”

“He said 'hold on to my leg,'" Barlow said. "And I literally just hugged his leg like, I just held on tight to get like warm and to hold on to something, you know.”