On Aug. 28, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a call for assistance from a commercial river trip in Grand Canyon National Park. The group reported that a 62-year-old man had fallen approximately 70 feet and was seriously injured. They reported his location as approximately one and one-half miles up Stone Creek from its confluence with the Colorado River.
The National Park Service's (NPS) helicopter was in the air at the time with a Coconino County Sheriff's Office search and rescue team member on board who was also a Guardian Air flight medic. The helicopter crew was able to land at the confluence of the Colorado River and Stone Creek, at approximately river mile 132, and drop off the flight medic to offer assistance.
At the same time, a Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter was called in to perform a night flight and rescue if necessary. However, upon arrival at the scene, the DPS helicopter crew was informed that the patient had not survived the fall.
On Aug. 29, the body was recovered by NPS helicopter via long-line operation and transported to the South Rim helibase. The body was transferred to a representative of the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office.
The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
An investigation is being conducted by the NPS.