An injured hiker was rescued from the Grand Canyon last week after his friends abandoned him during a trek, according to officials.
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue said that the hiker, 63, was travelling on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona along the Kanab Creek with a group of four friends who had already spent about three or four days backpacking through the national park.
At around 2pm on Friday afternoon, the man, whose name has not been publicly released, fell and sustained a “traumatic injury” to his shoulder, the search and rescue team said on Facebook.
The group decided to send out an emergency call using a satellite connection on an Apple cellphone at around 6pm that day.
The group then waited until the emergency call was confirmed, before they then took the phone it was made on and left the injured hiker behind, according to the sheriff’s office.
The four friends are said to have continued with their hiking expedition, as they had another three or four days left to complete.
The man, who needed emergency medical attention and to be evacuated from the area, was left behind alone as he waited for the rescue team to find him.
Search and Rescue was activated by the sheriff’s office, which was also aided by the DPS Western Air Rescue helicopter from Kingman, which included a rescue specialist and medic on their team.
“As the helicopter arrived on scene, it was very dark with tall canyon walls surrounding Kanab Creek – providing a tight and limited landing area for the helicopter. The helicopter landed about a quarter mile from the injured hiker’s location,” the statement continued.
The crew had to make their way through the creek and boulders to the location revealed in the emergency call.
They found the man who was then flown to a Flagstaff hospital for further medical evaluation.
“It was fortunate that the helicopter was able to rescue this injured hiker, as it would have taken an extended period of time for ground crews to reach his location,” the statement said.
“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.”