Photo: Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue / Courtesy
Authorities say an injured 63-year-old hiker was rescued from the Grand Canyon last week after a group of friends left him alone.
Search and rescue crews responded to a call for help, sent by an Apple device, using its emergency satellite function, around 6 p.m. Friday, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office of Search and Rescue said in a statement. Facebook post.
A rescue specialist and a medic flew in a Department of Public Safety air rescue helicopter from Kingman, Arizona, to the location indicated by the satellite, which was along a portion of Kanab Creek on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Landing the helicopter at the site was difficult, according to the sheriff’s office, because it was very dark and surrounded by high canyon walls, “providing a narrow and limited landing area.”
The crew was able to land approximately 1/4 mile from the satellite location and proceeded to traverse rocks and the creek to reach the injured hiker, who had fallen and suffered a traumatic shoulder injury that required “emergency medical attention and evacuation,” as reported by the police.
They stabilized the hiker and He was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Flagstaff for medical evaluation.
The injured hiker, who was not identified, told search and rescue officials that I was traveling through the Grand Canyon with a group of four other friendswho had already been backpacking for three or four days when the man fell and injured his shoulder around 2 p.m. on Friday.
They had another three or four days of hiking planned before ending their trip.
After confirming that the Apple device had sent the emergency call, The hiker’s friends took the device and left it in the place indicated by the satelliteaccording to the Mohave County sheriff.
It was unclear exactly what time the original call for help was made.
“It was fortunate that the helicopter was able to rescue this injured hiker, as it would have taken a long time for ground crews to reach his location,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
“Search and Rescue encourages everyone to never leave someone alone and, whenever possible, to stay with them and ensure they are rescued before continuing their journey,” he added.