Hiker Stuck in Quicksand at Zion National Park Talks About His Rescue

Ryan Osmun and his Girlfriend Jessica were hiking the Zion Narrows when she tripped and fell into the water. As Ryan was helping her up out of the water, his leg started to sink into the sand.

“It felt like you were just sinking into, like, wet concrete. It felt like it had dried instantly; I couldn't move my leg at all,” Ryan said.

They both tried to free him from the quicksand but nothing was working. She was soaking wet from the water but started to hike back out for help. Ryan fell asleep in the cold water about 8 hours after Jessica left for help. The snow was coming down hard at this point which wasn’t making it very easy for rescue crews to reach him.

Eventually a ranger showed up and tried using a rope and a pulley to get help him out. “He started to pull on that, but it just felt like it was ripping my leg off. My whole hips felt like they were ripping out,” Ryan said.

An hour later, three more rangers showed up to help but the conditions weren’t good enough to bring Ryan out. During a break in the storm, a helicopter was able to hoist him out of the canyon. He and Jessica had hypothermia and were treated at a local hospital.

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