ST. GEORGE — A lone hiker on the main trail in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area injured his leg but was able to text for help late Wednesday morning.

Washington County Search and Rescue Sgt. Darrell Cashin said his team was called in at about 10:55 a.m. after dispatch received a text for help from a local man in his 30s.

Cashin said the hiker was about a mile and a half along the Red Reef Trail when he slipped off a ledge and fell — either breaking his leg or suffering a dislocation — into one of the water pools along the trail.

While the hiker was unable to call, Cashin said he had just enough of a signal to text for help.

The Search and Rescue High Angle and EMS teams, along with Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue EMS, responded and hiked to the injured hiker.

A solo hiker is rescued from Red Cliffs Recreation Area after laying injured in a water pool, St. George, Utah, Nov. 8, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Search and Rescue, St. George News

“It was a place that was extremely difficult,” he said. “That is why the High Angle Team was called in.”

A DPS Star 8 helicopter crew was mobilized and hoisted him back to the trailhead, and after stabilizing his leg, removed him from the water and provided additional medical attention. He also was suffering from mild hypothermia.

He was transported by ambulance to the new Hurricane Emergency Department facility.

Cashin said the call was cleared by 1:35 p.m. but if Star 8 had not been available, it would have taken another 2-3 hours because the hiker would have been carried out.

Cashin reminds recreational enthusiasts to hike with at least one other person.

“If you are going to do something alone, make sure someone knows where you are going to be at, when you are going to be back and have a way to page or call for help,” he said.

This report is based on records and statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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