Man rescued in Zion National Park after spending hours in the middle of a creek stuck in quicksand

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Zion National Park south entrance sign and monument, Zion National Park, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News

SPRINGDALE, Utah — A man from Arizona was rescued in Zion National Park Sunday after he became stuck in the middle of a creek in quicksand.

A press release stated that on Saturday afternoon, Zion Dispatch officials received a call saying that a 34-year-old man had his leg stuck in quicksand.

The man, who was unable to free himself from the quicksand, was located about three hours up the left fork of the North Creek trail in the park, the release stated.

The man’s hiking companion left him with warm gear and clothing and went to call for help, according to the release. It was three hours until the companion was able to get cell phone service to call dispatch.

“Zion Search and Rescue team immediately assembled and began hiking to locate the male,” the press release said.  “Rangers located his companion close to the trailhead and tended to her as she was exhibiting signs of hypothermia, from hiking the three hours to call for help.”

When crews located the man, they said he was suffering from hypothermia, exposure and other injuries, the press release said. It took crews two hours to free him from the quicksand.

Rangers freed the man and spent the night with him warming up his leg, according to the release, and four additional inches of snow fell overnight.

“The next morning, the Utah DPS helicopter responded from Salt Lake City,” the press release stated. “The ongoing winter storms in the area decreased visibility for aircraft all morning. Only after a small break in the weather occurred in the afternoon, the DPS helicopter was able [to] safely extricated the patient with a hoist rescue operation.  The patient was transported to an awaiting ambulance and transported to the hospital.​”

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