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Man rescued in Grand Canyon left behind by friends, responders say

Updated September 21, 2023 - 5:14 pm

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A 63-year-old man was rescued Friday night in Grand Canyon National Park after he was injured while hiking and left behind by friends on a backpacking trip.

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue said in a Facebook post that they found the man, who had suffered a traumatic injury to his shoulder from a fall, along the Kanab Creek Trail on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The search and rescue crew received the call for help from someone using an Apple device through a satellite connection around 6 p.m. — about 4 hours after the man said he injured himself on the trail. It was unknown when the call was first made to emergency responders, the post said.

The search and rescue team and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Western Air Rescue landed a helicopter about a quarter mile from the hiker’s location. Once he was located, he was flown to a Flagstaff hospital for medical assistance, according to the post.

The man told responders that he was left behind by the other four hikers in the group once the group had made a call for help. The group had been hiking for about 3 or 4 days before the man was injured, and had several more days to go on their backpacking trip.

“It was fortunate that the helicopter was able to rescue this injured hiker, as it would have taken an extended period of time for ground crews to reach his location,” the post stated. “Search and Rescue encourages everyone to never leave someone behind alone and whenever possible, to stay with them and ensure they are rescued before continuing on their journey.”

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