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One man dead, two others brought to safety by search and rescue in Zion National Park

A sign hangs at the entrance to Zion National Park on May 14, 2020 in Springdale, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SPRINGDALE, Utah — A search and rescue operation in Zion National Park has ended with one man dead and two others brought to safety.

More than 30 rescuers responded Sunday when the group of canyoneers were finally able to make a call for help after several failed attempts due to poor reception.

They had been rappelling in Heaps Canyon on Saturday, which is just north of the park Lodge, when one of them, identified as 31-year-old Andrew Arvig of Chesapeake, Virgina, was unable to finish one of his last rappels above the Upper Emerald Pool.

“Mr. Arvig, the first to exit Heaps Canyon, rappelled past a small rock ledge where he needed to land and re-anchor his rope in order to then rappel the remaining distance to the ground. The other members of the group used their ‘pull line’ to rappel to the perch. Mr. Arvig was unable to ascend the 20 feet back to the perch,” read a press release from Zion National Park.

Rescuers found Arvig 260-feet above the pool, suspended by rope.  

“Arvig… was lowered to the ground and later pronounced deceased by a doctor,” stated the press release.

The other two people he was with, who were found on the rock perch 20 feet above where Arvig was suspended, were helped out of the canyon uninjured.

Officials said the cause of Arvig’s death remains under investigation.

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