I posted these because I think it is extremely important to go out prepared every time! I mean no disrespect to those whose stories these are.
Sheriff Than Cooper/Garfield County Sheriff's Dept:
"WE'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A WEEK, IN THE PARKS AND THE AREAS BUT NOTHING THAT FAR OUT."
A Massachusetts woman, froze to death ... after she and her boyfriend became stranded ... in the rugged back country of southern Utah. The search began for the couple a week ago ... after they didn't show up at their next destination. The man was rescued yesterday. But help arrived too late for his girlfriend. The couple's rented jeep, bogged down in deep snow ... in an area of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, in Utah's Garfield County.
Authorities are identifying the victim as 26- year old Rachel Crowley from Massachusetts.
27- year old George Metcalf, from London is in the hospital, being treated for hypothermia. This after a week long ordeal, stranded in a remote area of Southern Utah. The couple was traveling through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and had rented this jeep Wrangler in Las Vegas. But a week ago yesterday, snow started falling and the jeep got stuck.
Sheriff Than Cooper/Garfield County Sheriff's Dept.:
"I BELIEVE THEY STAYED WITH THE CAR FOR FIVE DAYS, EATING NOTHING BUT SUNFLOWER SEEDS AND SKITTLE CANDY AND WATER THEY HAD, WHEN THEY GOT SCARED AND WONDERING WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, THEY DECIDED THEY'D BETTER LEAVE."
On Sunday morning the couple started walking in deep heavy snow. After four miles, the woman was unable to continue. She urged her boyfriend to bring back help. He walked nearly 20- miles before he was spotted Monday afternoon by Vance and Shanon Pollock.
"Shanon Pollock, Rescued Stranded Tourist:
"HE WAS WAVING A RED SHIRT IN THE AIR AND HE SAID I NEED HELP WE BOTH REALIZED THEN HE WAS IN TROUBLE."
""Vance Pollock/Rescued Stranded Tourist:
"IT WAS REALLY A MIRACLE THAT HE MADE IT OUT AS FAR AS HE DID, I FIGURE HE WALKED CLOSE TO 30- MILES, AND HE HAD POOR CLOTHING, POOR SHOES AND HE WAS LUCKY TO GET WHERE HE GOT."
When searchers found the woman, she was already dead. The tragic situation has the Sheriff urging tourists who visit Utah's scenic areas to come prepared and informed.
"Sheriff Than Cooper/Garfield County Sheriff's Dept.:
"IT'S REALLY RUGGED AND ROUGH OUT THERE, THERE'S A LOT OF TIMES IN THE SUMMER WE CAN'T EVEN GET OUT THERE, LET ALONE THIS.
The man is in stable condition at the hospital here in Panguitch. Authorities are still investigating exactly what happened.
Reporting Panguitch, Sam Penrod, Eyewitness News.
Rachel Crowley and George Metcalfe, 27, on a sight-seeing road trip during a weekend vacation to Las Vegas, became stranded in a rugged area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, and survived for days melting snow for drinking water and rationing candy and sunflower seeds, Garfield County Sheriff Than Cooper said.
Metcalfe, of London, was rescued by cattle ranchers Monday and is recovering at a Utah hospital, authorities said. Crowley was found dead of apparent hypothermia about 4 miles from the canyon where they spent six days.
The pair's Jeep became stuck first in mud, then, the next day, in heavy snowdrifts in Trap Canyon, more than 20 miles from the closest town, with the pair wearing just ''Levis and gym shoes and penny loafers and light jackets,'' Cooper said. There was more than 4 feet of snow on the ground and whipping winds. The two rationed one sunflower seed and one Skittles candy each per day from what little supplies they had, Cooper said. At one point, when Crowley became too weak to eat and drink, Metcalfe dissolved a Skittle in water, he said.
On Saturday, according to Metcalfe's account to authorities, the pair decided that their only chance of survival was to try to walk out, in near-waist-high snow. Unknown to them, search efforts by several emergency agencies had been attempted.
After about 4 miles ''as the crow flies,'' Cooper said, Crowley collapsed. Metcalfe insisted on staying with her. She insisted that he press on. It was Sunday morning, nearly a week since anyone had seen them.
''She was really sick, and told him to get some help, that he had to go because it was their only chance, their last chance,'' Cooper said. ''So he took off.''
Crowley, whose mother lives in Pembroke, lay in the snow in a place called Paradise Ridge. Metcalfe pressed forward, making ''one heck of an effort, a valiant effort to get help,'' Cooper said.
The next day, around noon, a father-son team of cattle ranchers in all-terrain vehicles spotted Metcalfe stumbling down a deserted road about 15 miles from the Jeep. They were able to contact authorities, who launched rescue parties and a helicopter.
Shanon Pollock, 21, and his father, Vance, of Tropic, Utah, had jumped in their four-wheelers that morning and headed out to the national park to check on cattle they were raising. As they drove over a large hill, Vance Pollock spotted a man walking below.
''You could tell he was staggering a little bit,'' Shanon Pollock said. ''He was waving his red shirt in the air.''
Once they reached Metcalfe, the first thing out of his mouth was, ''I need some help,'' Shanon Pollock said. Metcalfe, his face sunburned and his Levis soaked, told the men his friend had to stop walking a ways back.
The snow was a foot deep, Shanon Pollock said.
''The most amazing thing,'' he said, ''was that he had hiked so many miles through that terrain. And all he was worried about'' was Crowley.
Metcalfe climbed on Vance Pollock's four-wheeler, and they drove to the nearest phone, where they alerted the authorities to Crowley's approximate location. Shanon Pollock hopped in his vehicle and followed Metcalfe's tracks in the snow, trying to locate his friend.
''I must have gone 25 or 30 miles,'' Shanon Pollock said. As he tried to climb a large hill, his four-wheeler got stuck. So he hopped off and started to walk, he said, and soon heard a helicopter flying above.
But when rescuers got to Crowley they found her frozen body, Cooper said.
''It was just an unbelievable and unfortunate set of circumstances,'' said Crowley's mother, Sharon. Her daughter had recently taken a job working as a preschool teacher in Brookline and had hoped to spend her life working with children. She loved to travel. ''All they wanted to do was some sight-seeing,'' Crowley's mother said.
Cooper, the sheriff, said: ''They just weren't ready for these conditions. We feel sick about this. It's a beautiful part of the country, but it has its tragic moments.''
And of course, Ron "TJRON" Duncan.