13-Year-Old Survives 70-Foot Plunge from Grand Canyon’s Rim

In a harrowing incident that unfolded at the Grand Canyon National Park, a 13-year-old boy miraculously survived a fall of over 70 feet near Bright Angel Point on Tuesday. The National Park Service’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team sprang into action to rescue the teenager after he plummeted perilously close to the edge of the canyon’s North Rim.

Rapid response from the skilled SAR team proved to be the key to the boy’s survival. Relying on their extensive training and expertise, the team utilized ropes to meticulously raise him to safety along the steep terrain, an operation that posed exceptional challenges due to the austere environment. Helicopter retrieval was deemed unfeasible, underscoring the incredible skill set the SAR team employed in executing this daring rescue.

Once safely retrieved, the young survivor was expeditiously transported to a pediatric trauma center, where he continues to be listed in stable condition as of Thursday. The success of this operation serves as a testament to the dedication and competence of the SAR team, whose advanced medical skills were pivotal in ensuring a positive outcome for the patient.

“I can say with great confidence that [the rescuers] put to use advanced medical skills in an austere environment that are rarely executed in most other places,” Preventive Search and Rescue Supervisor Meghan Smith said in the statement. “It’s clear that their training and hard work paid off, leading to a smooth, timely operation that will no doubt lead to better outcomes for this patient.”

Bright Angel Point, where the incident occurred, is characterized by its narrow, paved path that descends precipitously on both sides. The National Park Service emphasizes the importance of adhering to designated trails and maintaining a minimum distance of six feet from the rim’s edge, echoing the critical safety guidelines that can prevent such unfortunate accidents.

This incident also highlights the contrast between this fortunate outcome and a tragic event that transpired almost a year prior. On August 22, 2022, the SAR team responded to another visitor who had fallen 200 feet to his demise in the same area. This unfortunate incident serves as a somber reminder of the hazards posed by veering off designated paths and underscores the significance of heeding park regulations.



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