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Utah Guard Blackhawks rescue rafters lost on San Rafael River

Utah Guard Blackhawks rescue rafters lost on San Rafael River



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PRICE — Six rafters stranded in Emery County have been airlifted to safety by Utah Army National Guard soldiers, just the thing for which they had recently been training.

Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Hank McIntire says UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crews were in the area for training exercises Tuesday morning when the Emery County Sheriff's office requested help for rafters missing on the San Rafael River since Monday.

The Blackhawks spotted them near the wedge overlook and ferried them out to safety.

"A couple of them were suffering from hypothermia along with dehydration," said Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk.

The Guard crew transported Emery County rescuers to the scene to administer first aid to the tired and dehydrated rafters. A Guard helicopter then airlifted the rafters, who are now recovering at Castleview Hospital in Price.

Funk says the group was apparently unprepared for low water levels on the San Rafael and became stranded dragging their raft through the canyon.

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Dave Cawley
    The Associated Press

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