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Man pulled from quicksand in Zion during harrowing two-day rescue

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Feb 17th, 2019 @ 10:14pm

SPRINGDALE — A man who became trapped in quicksand while hiking in Zion National Park was rescued over the weekend.

The 34-year-old Arizona resident was hiking the Left Fork of North Creek — also known as The Subway — on Saturday and was about three hours into the hike when one of his legs became trapped in quicksand the middle of a creek, according to a statement from the National Park Services.

"His leg was buried up to his knee and he was unable to free himself," the park service stated.

A woman who was with the man left him with warm gear and clothing and then had to hike three hours to get cell phone reception to call 911. By the time rescuers arrived the man was suffering from exposure, hypothermia, and injuries to his extremities, according to the statement. From there, it took two cold hours to free the man's leg.

Search and rescue crews decided to camp at the site for the night after getting the man free, staying with him in "frigid conditions" and four new inches of snow, the park service stated.

A Department of Public Safety helicopter flew to the area, and during a break in a series of winter storms Sunday afternoon, extracted the man using a hoist and took him to an awaiting ambulance. The ambulance then drove him to a local hospital, according to Zion officials.

Pat Reavy

KSL Weather Forecast