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Woman rescued from river in Emery County spent 4 hours clinging to canoe

A DPS helicopter helped rescue a woman who spent four hours in the San Rafael River in Emery County June 2, 2017. Image courtesy Emery County Sheriff's Office.

EMERY COUNTY, Utah — A woman was rescued in Emery County Thursday after officials say she spent four hours clinging to a canoe in the San Rafael River.

According to the Emery County Sheriff’s Office, dispatchers received a call Thursday afternoon from a man who reported the canoe he and his wife were in had capsized while on the San Rafael River.

The man was able to make it to shore but told dispatchers his wife was missing. Search and Rescue crews responded to the area between Fuller’s Bottom and Swinging Bridge to search for the woman, and a Department of Public Safety helicopter was brought in from Salt Lake City to assist.

Personnel aboard the helicopter spotted the woman in the river about 8 miles from where the canoe had capsized, and crews were able to rescue her. She was wearing a life jacket and had been able to hold onto the canoe after it capsized, maintaining that hold until she could be rescued.

Authorities estimate she was in the cold water for a total of about four hours.

“Quick response by ECSO and SAR personnel in addition to the DPS helicopter made for a happy ending to a very dangerous situation,” authorities stated.