A rescue team saved a 63-year-old man who was stranded at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on Friday night, officials say.
The individual suffered a “traumatic injury to his shoulder,” and his hiking group allegedly abandoned him, according to Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue. Before allegedly leaving the 63-year-old on the trail, his companions reportedly called the Mohave County Sheriff’s office to report the emergency via someone’s Apple device that had a satellite connection.
“There was a group of five friends who were backpacking on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park along the Kanab Creek,” the office said in the statement. “Search and Rescue was activated, along with the DPS Western Air Rescue helicopter from Kingman — flying a rescue specialist and medic to the location provided by the Apple device.”
The rescue team was able to land their helicopter about a quarter mile away from the injured individual, per the statement. The crew was then reportedly able to extract the hiker and fly him to a Flagstaff hospital to receive medical treatment for his injuries.
“When asked about the other four hikers and their whereabouts, it was learned that the injury occurred around 2pm earlier in the day. Once contact for help using the Apple device was confirmed by the hiking group, the other four hikers left with the Apple device and continued on their backpacking adventures — leaving the injured hiker behind alone.”
The hikers were reportedly only halfway finished with their excursion and apparently kept going despite their friend’s serious injury, according to the statement. (RELATED: Scientist Falls 500 Feet To His Death After Hiking App Allegedly Sent Him The Wrong Way)
“Search and Rescue encourages everyone to never leave someone behind alone and whenever possible, to stay with them and ensure they are rescued before continuing on their journey,” the statement noted.
In early Sept., a 55-year-old man reportedly died while hiking in the Grand Canyon National Park. In this case, rescuers were unable to fully and properly land a helicopter at the scene due to steep and rocky terrain, per the Arizona Daily Sun.