The Utah Department of Public Safety video shows how one man from Florida was pulled out of a slot canyon in the Utah-Arizona border. His two friends were killed.
According to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Ed Smith, Jeff Watson, and Bill Romaniello started a 45-mile hike in the Buckskin Gulch on March 10. This is the longest slot canyon in North America.
“When they hadn’t contacted their families by Monday morning,” a press release stated.
Kane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue began to prepare for an emergency response. A Utah DPS helicopter was requested from St. George and another with lifting capabilities was dispatched from Salt Lake City. They arrived in the canyon shortly after noon.
2 MEN FOUND DEAD NEAR UTAH ARIZONA BOORDER AFTER CANYONS FLOD
Storms called “Atmospheric rivers” swept portions of the west U.S. over the weekend when the men were hiking, raising the water level in canyons before floodwaters reached the slot canyons.
DPS found a single individual using an infrared camera around 5 p.m. Smith was lifted out of the canyon by a responder. Although he was very weak and cold, he was able to tell Smith that Saturday morning his group was struck by a flash flood which carried them downstream.
Watson sustained a leg injury and Smith and Watson were able regroup to search for Romaniello. However, Watson separated them. Smith kept searching for help.
HIKER DIES ON ARCHES NATIONAL PARK TRAIL IN UTAH, SECOND DEATH WITHIN A MONTH
Crews discovered Romaniello’s corpse on March 13. Watson was found dead on March 13.
According to the company’s website, the trio worked together at the Orthopedic Med Group of Tampa Bay. Smith is the chief clinical officer. Watson was an orthopedic surgeon. Romaniello was the director of sports medicine.
“Tragedy struck the practice and it is with deep sadness that we share in the loss of Dr. Jeffrey Watson, ATC, and William Romaniello ATC, two pillars and pillars of practice that left an incredible legacy and massive void in hearts of all who knew them,” posted the Orthopaedic Medical Group Tampa Bay to Facebook.
After the initial three people were evacuated, 11 more people were rescued by the Department of Public Safety helicopters.
This report was contributed by The Associated Press.