Zion Says 9 1/2 Hour Pine Creek Rescue Was Most Difficult in Memory


Newspapers said Zion National Park Rangers said the 9 1/2 hour rescue in Pine Creek Canyon was one of the most difficult in the park’s history.

Below is the official NPS Morning Report on the incident.
On the evening of Wednesday, June 1st, the park was notified that a person canyoneering in Pine Creek was experiencing severe abdominal pain and unable to move. Two rangers, one of them a park medic, were dispatched to locate him and assess his condition. The injured hiker – Michael Hargrove of Houston, Texas – was found in a large boulder field down canyon from the last rappel in the Pine Creek slot canyon. In consultation with the Dixie Regional Medical Center, the rangers determined that the injury was most likely an abdominal hernia. The park search and rescue team was dispatched to complete the rescue. Hargrove was carried on a litter through the boulder field, which took several hours. He was then lifted to the top of the last rappel, a distance of about 150 feet, and carried to the base of a cliff, where he was then lifted another 150 to 200 feet to the second window of the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel. He was transferred to a waiting ambulance at 5 a.m., then transported to the Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah. The rescue took about nine-and-a-half hours to complete and involved 24 members of the park’s staff and local volunteers. It was one of the most difficult and involved rescues ever conducted in the park.
[Submitted by Ron Terry, Public Affairs]


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