A young couple had to be rescued after a hiking trip through Utah’s Zion National Park went awry.
According to CBS, 34-year-old Ryan Osmun and his girlfriend, Jessika McNeill, were trekking along the park’s famous Subway route trail when McNeill suddenly stepped into quicksand. But when Osmun tried to save his girlfriend from getting stuck, his right leg became engulfed up to his hip, leaving him immobile.
“There was no chance of moving it at all,” Osmun told CBS News, describing the quicksand as a puddle of quick-drying concrete. “The sand had surrounded the whole leg and I couldn’t move.”
Suddenly, with a storm overhead, it was up to McNeill to set out on a solo trek to find help.
“I didn’t know if I was for sure gonna make it out,” she said. “I didn’t know if I could do that hike alone.”
Three hours in, McNeill was able to find help. But it would still take ten hours for park rangers to reach Osmun, and another two to get him out of the sand. Osmun explained that process as “one of the worst pains I’ve ever felt.” But there was still more for him to endure before rescuers would be able to bring Osmun to safety, after a storm brought in four additional inches of snow.
CBS reports that the park rangers and Osmun were forced to spend the night in the park, until rescuers could finally rappel a 100-foot cable to lift Osmun to safety, despite the treacherous conditions.
Utah’s Department of Public Safety didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, Utah highway patrol officer Wyatt Weber told CBS about the further complications of Osmun’s rescue: “He was in water, running water, up to his knees. And so there were some cold injuries, hypothermia, plus injuries from being stuck in the sand.”
Osmun said that those injuries were limited to minor muscle damage, which he’s expected to make a full recovery from. As for McNeill, she was also diagnosed with hypothermia from her three-hour hike. Still, Osmun told CBS that he wouldn’t do anything differently.
“I really wouldn’t change anything or go back and change anything or do anything differently,” he said. “It was just a freak accident that my leg hit this hole of sand.”
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