Injured Hiker Rescued After Being Left Alone by Friends at Grand Canyon

A 63-year-old man, who was left behind by his friends after sustaining a shoulder injury during a hike, was rescued on Friday at the Grand Canyon National Park. The group of five had been on a backpacking trip along the North Rim of the park, specifically the Kanab Creek area, when the unfortunate incident occurred.

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team received a distress call around 6 p.m. from an individual using an Apple device via a satellite connection. The caller reported that one of their group members had fallen and suffered a severe shoulder injury.

Upon receiving the call, the sheriff’s office immediately dispatched search and rescue crews. However, the rescue operation was complicated by the challenging terrain and the onset of darkness. The location, as indicated by the Apple device, was surrounded by tall canyon walls, making it difficult for the rescue helicopter to land.

Due to the tight space, the helicopter was forced to land approximately a quarter mile away from the injured hiker’s location. The rescue team then had to navigate through the creek and challenging terrain on foot to reach the injured man.

Once they reached the hiker, the rescue team stabilized him and assisted him back to the helicopter. He was then flown to a hospital in Flagstaff for further medical evaluation.

The rescue team learned that the injury had occurred around 2 p.m. After the distress call was made, the other four members of the group, instead of staying with their injured friend, decided to continue their backpacking adventure, leaving the injured man alone.

The group had been hiking for about three or four days and had a similar duration left in their trip. The search and rescue team emphasized the importance of never leaving an injured person alone until help arrives, expressing relief that they were able to rescue the hiker despite the challenging circumstances.