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Australian base jumper rescued in Grand County

Published October 17, 2012 5:53 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Grand County rescuers assisted in successfully lowering a base jumper who got caught on a cliff in the Mill Creek area above Moab on Wednesday evening.

The Grand County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 21-year-old Mathew Pittard of Australia. Pittard was attempting a 350- to 400-foot jump when a cross wind blew in and pushed his chute into a rock on the cliff, according to a statement released by the office Wednesday. He was hanging 250 feet above the ground.

The group he was with had to hike out of the canyon and call 911 at about 4 p.m. Rescue crews also had to hike in to get to Pittard, as there are no roads leading to the area.

Pittard's friends were able to rappell down to him and lower him to the ground as the rescue team waited below. A helicopter from the Department of Public Safety then flew him to Moab Regional Hospital at about 7 p.m. The sheriff's office said he had fractured his foot in the accident.

This was the second rescue of a base jumper in the state within a month. Utah County Search and Rescue also rescued a base jumper whose chute got stuck on a cliff in Provo Canyon. He was treated after dangling 300 feet above the ground.