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Man rescued from Narrows


Man rescued from Narrows



ZION NATIONAL PARK -- Members of the Zion National Park Search and Rescue team were called out Tuesday afternoon for an injured person in Orderville Canyon, an offshoot of the Narrows.

Park spokesman Ron Terry said the call was received at approximately 3:55 p.m. Search and Rescue personnel along with a medic were dispatched and found 32-year-old Chris Eddy from Spokane, Wash., with an injured ankle and unable to walk. Eddy was found approximately one quarter-mile up Orderville Canyon. Once Eddy's ankle was splinted, he was placed in a litter and was floated out of the Narrows on a rescue raft. It was the first time the raft, designed and especially built for Zion Park, was used, Terry said.

"The rescue raft is pontoons with braces in between that places the litter fairly high up and then the patient can be floated out," Terry said. "It's a prototype and it was the first time it was used in the park and park personnel was pleased with the way it worked."

Eddy was floated out of the Narrows and was out by 9:45 p.m. He was then transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by private vehicle where he was treated for a fractured ankle.

The park has already had several search and rescues this year and the busy tourist season is still weeks away.

Terry said Tuesday's rescue occurred after Eddy, who had been exploring up Orderville Canyon, jumped from a boulder or ledge on his way back down and injured his ankle.

"One of the things in Tuesday's incident, was the person was not wearing proper footwear for hiking in the Narrows," Terry said. "He was not wearing shoes with good ankle support and that is something we always recommend."

In designing the rescue raft, Terry said park personnel worked with a company in New Mexico to come up with the design. Tuesday was the first time the raft was used. Prior to that, inflatable rafts were used for similar rescues but did not work as well as the new prototype.

Terry said the new raft is easier to handle, takes fewer people to handle and is more stable than an inflatable raft.

Originally published Thursday, May 9, 2002


Jack's Note
Comments of Ray O'Niel Head ranger:


We had our first Narrows carryout of the season yesterday which means that
we had our first use of the rescue boat that you built for us. Our first
patient had the last name of Eddy which gave us a great name for the boat.

It worked extremely well. Our old rescue boat was an Avon 8 footer with a
solid floor. The Eddy was very manueverable. We used to use seven people
to move the Avon down the river. It was easier to move the Eddy with five
people than the old Avon with seven.

The Eddy is also lighter, more stable, and kept the patient drier than the
old Avon.

And, conditions were not ideal yesterday. The river is at record low
levels, and the patient weighed around 200 pounds. The Eddy slid right over
all of the exposed rocks.

So, thanks for building us an excellent rescue boat.

If you send me an address, I will send you a disk with some pictures.

Here are the pictures
Loading Mr. Eddy on Eddy
Getting Eddy ready
Walking Eddy down through the rocks view from the front
Walking Eddy down through the rocks view from the side (note the belay strap from behind)
Belaying Eddy around a big rock in the middle of the stream


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