Search for Hiker in Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park rangers are searching the park’s backcountry for a missing California hiker.

Park spokeswoman Emily Davis says air and ground crews are looking for 72-year-old Raafat “Ralph” Amin Nasser-Eddin of Los Angeles along several trails.

Davis says Nasser-Eddin was reported overdue Tuesday evening and that he matches the description of a person reported to park rangers Sunday as being disoriented at a camping area in the canyon.

Davis says a member of the park’s search and rescue team unsuccessfully looked for that person Sunday and Monday.

She says Nasser-Eddin had a reservation to stay at Phantom Ranch along the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon but did not check in.
[Local News Story]

Several Rescues in the Grand Canyon

Jacob Tipton of Flagstaff was hiking through rough terrain Monday while looking for new climbing routes when he fell.

Coconino County Deputy Sheriff Trevor Wallace said the site has steep cliffs and jagged rocks.

Tipton was alone at the time of the fall and his wife was back at their vehicle. She went out looking for him after he didn’t return and found him the next morning.

She rappelled down to where he was and then went back up to call for help, sheriff’s spokesman Jon Paxton said.

The fall occurred near Twentynine Mile Canyon on the northeastern edge of Grand Canyon National Park.

. . . . .

Another rescue crew saved a 15-year-old girl who was riding her bike Wednesday when she crashed over the edge of the Mogollon Rim and fell about 25 feet before landing on a ledge. She was treated and sent to Payson Hospital for a laceration to her head and other possible injuries.

Officials got the call as they were rescuing a lost woman hiking alone outside Sedona.

Later that day, they helped a man who collapsed multiple times while he was hiking with his wife at Veit Springs near Arizona Snowbowl.
[News Story]

The girl on the bike going over the edge seems absolutely terrifying. Wow.

Body of Missing Hiker Found in Colorado River

As reported on April 21, two hikers, identified as Lou Ann Merrell, 62, and Jackson Standefer, 14, were reported missing in the Colorado River. One of the hikers’ bodies ahs been found:

On Friday, April 28 the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center was notified by a commercial river trip that they located a body on the Colorado River at River Mile 152. Park rangers responded and recovered the body, which was transported to the rim by helicopter and transferred to the Coconino County Medical Examiner. Initial information indicates the body is that of missing 14 year old hiker Jackson Standefer.

Standefer was reported missing on April 15 by members of his hiking party after losing his footing while crossing Tapeats Creek. The National Park Service conducted a multi-day search and rescue operation. [NPS Story]

 

Fatality on Colorado River

At approximately 12 pm on Sunday, April 23, Grand Canyon National Park was alerted to a personal locator beacon activation near Hance Rapid on the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center then received a satellite phone call from a private boating trip in the same location reporting CPR in progress.

Jimmie Blair, 69, of New Meadows, Idaho, entered the river above Hance Rapid, Colorado River Mile 77. Members of the party pulled him out of the water and began CPR. Park rangers were flown into the location with the park helicopter. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. Blair was on day nine of a multi-day private boating trip.

NPS Story

Search Reduced for Two Hikers in Grand Canyon

After five days of extensive searching, today the National Park Service (NPS) is reducing the scale of the search for two hikers who went missing at Grand Canyon National Park on Saturday, April 15. The hikers are identified as Lou Ann Merrell, 62, and Jackson Standefer, 14.

On Saturday evening, April 15 the NPS received an alert from a personal locating beacon in a backcountry area of Grand Canyon National Park near the confluence of Tapeats Creek and Thunder River. An Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter flew to the location where a hiking party reported two members of their party missing.

The party reported that Merrell and Standefer were last seen crossing Tapeats Creek below the confluence with Thunder River when they lost footing and were swept down Tapeats Creek.

Beginning the morning of Sunday, April 16 and lasting through the end of the day Wednesday, April 19, the NPS searched extensively in both the Tapeats Creek area and the area of the Colorado River below the confluence with Tapeats Creek (approximately Colorado River Mile 134). [Click here for a picture of the area] Three teams (approximately 20 people total) searched ground areas along Tapeats Creek and the Colorado River each day staying in the field overnight.

In order to cover areas that were inaccessible to the ground searchers, each day the NPS also utilized a helicopter and crew, an unmanned aerial system (UAS) and operator, and an inflatable motor raft and associated search team.

Arizona Department of Public Safety and Uintah County Search and Rescue (Uintah County Sheriff’s Department) assisted in the search.

Today the NPS will focus search efforts along the Colorado River below the confluence with Tapeats Creek with a search crew operating an inflatable motor raft. If no additional information is discovered or received today, starting Friday April 21 the search will continue in a limited and continuous mode focused on public outreach and search efforts during regular backcountry patrols. The NPS will continue to follow up and investigate any new information that it receives.

NPS story

Lou Ann Merrell is the wife of Randy Merrell, an accomplished boot maker and president of Merrell Shoe Company. Click here for an article about the family and their business, as well as their efforts to locate their family members.

Tourist falls off Mather Point at the Grand Canyon

Park rangers said they received a call around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday about a park visitor falling off the rim of the canyon west of Mather Point. Friends and family told KCCI that Gom Dang was posing for a picture when he fell to his death.

“He started handing me his phone,” Ruot said. “I don’t know, I guess I was a little far from him or whatever the case was, and he slipped backward. He fell with his back, and he rolled over.”

NPS Story

His family has established a GoFundMe to defer costs of getting his body transported to his home state of Iowa.

Family’s remarks and GoFundMe

Iowa Local News story