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Injury-related Rescues Up At Zion Park

Injury-related Rescues Up At Zion Park

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ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah (AP) -- The number of injury-related rescues in Zion National Park is up this year, and many of them are due to jumping.

"About one-quarter of the increase in injuries we are seeing (is) from people jumping from a high spot to a lower one, causing lower-leg injuries," park ranger Ray O'Neil said. "It concerns the park not only for the number of injuries but the costs."

The costs range from $500 for a carry-out rescue to $5,000 when a helicopter is required.

O'Neill said a man was injured about a week ago in the left fork of the Subway, when, instead of rappelling, he jumped about 10 feet into water. He injured his ankle and had to be flown out of the canyon.

Plateau District Ranger Cindy Purcell said part of the problem is that people don't plan ahead. Another recent rescue occurred when a family went hiking with an infant in Keyhole Canyon.

On reaching a pool of water, they realized they could not get across with the baby. But they already had done one of the rappels and were unable to go back.

They sat down to wait for help, and were not discovered until the next morning.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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