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Family rescued from southeast Utah canyon after 3 days

Published April 13, 2014 5:01 pm

Outdoors • Father became trapped between walls and told boys to stay put.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Payson father and his sons were rescued Saturday after getting stuck at a Garfield County canyon.

Jason Knight, 35, and his 11- and 8-year-old sons entered Sandthrax Canyon — about midway between Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks — on Wednesday. That day, the father became trapped 350 feet down between the tight canyon walls, and told the boys to stay where they were — on a ledge at the top of the canyon — to prevent further incident, according to a Wayne County news release. Wayne County helped out in the rescue.

The boys had only a small amount of water and a granola bar between them. The water lasted only a day.

After the three failed to return Friday afternoon, as Knight told his wife they would, the search was on for the missing family, according to the release.

By Saturday morning, search teams from Garfield and Wayne counties, along with a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, were searching the canyon for them.

At 11:50 a.m., the helicopter crew spotted the two boys on the ledge. Search crews found their father half an hour later about 150 yards away.

By about 4:30 p.m., all three were safely rescued. The boys had cramps and were dehydrated, and the father appeared to be fine, according to the release.

The Canyoneering USA website describes Sandthrax as a short, intense canyon.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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