SAFETY

Two people stranded at Zion National Park rescued over the weekend, one pronounced dead

Nov 29, 2021, 6:09 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2021, 6:19 am
A rockfall has temporarily closed s Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway through Zion National Park on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. File Photo

SPRINGDALE, Utah — The tactical search and rescue team at Zion National Park safely rescued two canyoneers stranded over the weekend.

The two individuals were stock on a perch roughly 280 feet above Upper Emerald Pools. A third individual was found suspended from a rope about 20 feet below the perch. Unfortunately, that individual was lowered to the ground and pronounced dead at the scene. 

The victim has been identified as 31-year-old Andrew Arvig of Chesapeake, Virginia.

According to park officials, the three individuals began their journey on Saturday. They had been following their permitted itinerary, but they had difficulty negotiating the last few rappels.

Officials say Arvig rappelled past a rock ledge where he needed to land and re-anchor his rope. He was not able to climb the 20 feet back to the perch.

Officials began search operations Sunday morning when the two individuals on the perch were able to get a call out to Washington County Dispatch. The individuals had made several attempts to contact authorities, but were unable to get through due to poor cell phone reception.

The cause of Arvig’s death is still under investigation.

In all, there were more than 30 individuals involved in the rescue effort, including a helicopter crew from Grand Canyon National Park, and a Life Flight crew. 

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Two people stranded at Zion National Park rescued over the weekend, one pronounced dead