Injured hiker found, rescued from slot canyon in Emery County

Photos: Emery County Sheriff

EMERY COUNTY, Utah, March 21, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Sheriff’s officials and the Emery County Search and Rescue workers found and rescued a missing hiker early Wednesday morning in a complex operation.

Nephi resident Brigham Holladay, 26, had told his father on Tuesday afternoon that he was going to hike Ding & Dang Canyons. At about midnight, Holladay’s father realized his son had not returned, and called law enforcement officials.

By 2 a.m. Wednesday, searchers had located Holladay’s car near a trailhead. It turned out the hiker had broken his leg about 2 miles from the mouth of the trail.

“He was secured in a rescue basket and carried to a location in the canyon where the helicopter was able to lower a cable 160 feet,” said a statement posted on Facebook by the Emery County Sheriff’s Office.

“The helicopter then hoisted the injured man and rescue attendant out of the canyon and delivered them to the Green River Ambulance which was staged at the entrance to Goblin Valley State Park. The injured man was transported by ambulance to the hospital.”

Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk praised the group’s teamwork.

“Not only did rescue personnel respond during the middle of the night, but they also waded through very cold water in the slot canyon, which was chest deep at times,” Funk said in the statement.

“The skills of the helicopter crew were incredible as they hovered in a very tight section of the canyon to hoist the injured man out. Another successful rescue in Emery County thanks to these highly-skilled, selfless responders and multiple agencies working together.”

The post said this type of wilderness rescue is technically difficult and time consuming due to rugged terrain.

“All-in-all, it was nine hours of dedicated effort from the time the call came in until the injured man was loaded on the ambulance for transport,” the Facebook post said. “WELL DONE to all involved.”


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