A 63-year-old hiker was rescued Friday in Grand Canyon National Park after he was injured in a fall and his group of friends left him behind to continue their “backpacking adventure,” reports said. authorities.
Five friends were hiking on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park along Kanab Creek when one of them, a 63-year-old man, fell and suffered a traumatic shoulder injury, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said.
The sheriff’s office received a call for help around 6 p.m. from a person using an Apple device via a satellite connection and dispatched search and rescue teams.
When a rescue helicopter reached the location provided by the Apple device, it was dark with high canyon walls surrounding Kanab Creek. The helicopter was unable to land in the restricted space and was forced to land approximately 400 meters from the hiker’s location.
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Rescuers then crossed the stream and difficult terrain to reach the hiker.
The 63-year-old man was stabilized and helped back to the helicopter, which transported him to a Flagstaff hospital for further medical evaluation.
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Rescuers learned that the injury had occurred around 2 p.m., and once it was confirmed that the Apple device had contacted rescuers, the other four members of the group left with the device and “continued their backpacking adventures – leaving the injured hiker alone.” ” the sheriff’s office said.
The group of hikers had already hiked for about three or four days and had three or four days left, officials said.
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Searchers and rescuers said it was fortunate the helicopter was able to rescue the injured hiker and encouraged hiking groups to never leave anyone alone, to ensure they were rescued.