Incident:Exhaustion in The Squeeze 2023/04/15

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Incident:Exhaustion in The Squeeze 2023/04/15
Date 2023/04/15
Location The Squeeze
Severity No loss
Canyoneering-related Yes
SAR involvement Yes
Navigation problem No
Environmental problem Yes
Communication problem No
Planning problem Yes
Skills problem Yes
Body movement problem No
Rigging problem No
Rappel problem No
Insufficient gear Yes
Gear failure No


EMERY COUNTY, Utah — Three people had to be flown out of Squeeze Canyon after a rappelling accident Saturday evening.

According to the Emery County Sheriff’s Office, one of the three canyoners texted 911 at approximately 5:30 p.m., saying two were trapped in water in a difficult rappel slot.

Emery County Sheriff Search and Rescue Rope Team members and two Department of Public Safety helicopters staged at Goblin Valley State Park.

According to the sheriff’s office, the canyoners texted 911 two hours later, informing first responders that they were two-thirds through the canyon but hadn’t reached the 100-foot rappel area.

“The text also stated that two of the subjects had been standing in water for over two hours and that one was experiencing severe hypothermia,” according to the sheriff’s office Facebook post. “The person stated that the subjects had now been removed from the water and were wrapped in emergency blankets.”

The canyoners sent a third text saying they were able to start a fire with driftwood in the canyon, and the person experiencing hypothermia was recovering. However, they soon ran out of wood and had to use headlamps to signal rescue teams.

At approximately 11 p.m., helicopter teams found the canyoners, and they were hoisted to safety and provided first aid on the ground at the staging area.