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Searchers rescue birdwatcher missing overnight in City Creek Canyon

Published July 29, 2014 6:29 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Search and rescue workers early Tuesday found a 74-year-old Salt Lake City man who went missing overnight in City Creek Canyon.

Public safety dispatchers said the man, reportedly on a solo birdwatching trip, left about 3 p.m. Monday. A 911 call came in about 10:30 p.m. reporting he was overdue.

Police located his car parked about 6 miles up the canyon, but there was no trace of the man.

Just before dawn, a helicopter equipped with infrared sensors overflew the canyon in advance of a planned ground search to begin at sunrise.

Salt Lake City police confirmed at 6:43 a.m. that the man had been found in "alpha condition," or alive and well. He was escorted back down the canyon to be checked out further.

How the man became lost or stranded overnight in the canyon, which was hit by heavy rainfall overnight, was not immediately known, said SLCPD Capt. John Cardona.

"We doubt he planned to stay up there all night," Cardona said. "But it does get pitch black up there at night and he may have just got lost."

The man had a cellphone with him, but reception in the canyon is spotty at best, police said, noting attempts to ping his phone were unsuccessful.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims