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ZION NATIONAL PARK — A hiker found dead after flash flooding in the Zion Narrows stranded him and his companion was identified by park officials.
Douglas Yoshi Vo, 34, of Westminster, California, was found dead Sunday afternoon after becoming stranded for most of the day before by floodwaters, Zion National Park said in a release.
Vo started the hike with another man early Saturday morning. Around 9:30 a.m., rainfall began and the two decided to head back toward the Riverside Walk Trailhead where they had started the hike, park officials said.
By 10 a.m., the two were stranded on opposite sides of the river, which was moving at 4,020 cubic feet per second. For six hours, the men stayed on the high ground, but around 4 p.m., Vo’s hiking companion left to swim to safety, park officials said.
The man was able to contact a park ranger around 6:30 p.m. and notify them about Vo’s situation. The water’s intensity hindered rangers making a safe rescue that evening, according to Zion.
Early Sunday morning, Vo’s companion notified rangers that he had hiked up to the place he last saw Vo, but was unable to locate him. Rangers started a search effort at that point, and located Vo’s body around 2 p.m. on the bank of the Virgin River near the Riverside Walk Trail.
"We don't know if decided to swim as well or if he fell in," said National Park Service spokesman David Eaker.
Contributing: Pat Reavy