Dramatic rescue of hiker found in slot canyon in S. Utah

Dramatic rescue of hiker found in slot canyon in S. Utah

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(Photo courtesy Washington County Sheriff's Office)WASHINGTON COUNTY - Search and rescue crews found a missing hiker Tuesday morning in the Red Mountain area near Ivins.

Jim Williamson, 49, an experienced hiker from Salt Lake City and missing since Sunday, was found in a slot canyon close to the Gunsight Trail on Red Mountain.

He was taken to the Dixie Regional Medical Center in critical condition and is now in stable condition. Sheriff's officials say he lost several teeth, broke his nose and injured his head.

On Sunday, Williamson planned on running in the Snow Canyon area, but changed his plans and instead ran the trails on Red Mountain. He called a friend informing her of his change in plans.

Courtesy Washington County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy Washington County Sheriff's Office

Around noon, he called his friend again, telling her he was above Three Ponds and was en route back to his vehicle. He stated he was low on water, but thought that he had enough to make it back.

Williamson's friend called authorities around 4 p.m. when she hadn't heard from him again.

Washington County Sheriff's Search and Rescue initiated the search at that time, but didn't find Williamson until Tuesday morning, almost 48 hours after he went missing.

In a dramatic rescue, a helicopter had to balance on the top of a rock to pull Williamson to safety. Crews used a litter and ropes to remove Williamson from the slot canyon and was then flown to the hospital.

Williamson apparently fell off a ledge in the Red Mountain area while he was hiking Sunday.

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