Tags: search | rescue | mission | national parks

Search-and-Rescue Missions in National Parks Cost $3 Million

Search-and-Rescue Missions in National Parks Cost $3 Million

National Park Service Rangers from the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly practice their technical rescue skills during a drill on the rim of the Grand Canyon on May 20, 2009. (Catonphoto/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 21 June 2018 11:33 AM

Search-and-rescue missions performed in national parks cost U.S. taxpayers more than $3 million last year alone, Fox News reported.

Of those operations, a large chunk were performed at the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Yosemite in California.

According to statistics released by the National Park Service, there were 290 search-and-rescue (SAR) incidents reported for the Grand Canyon, and 233 more at Yosemite last year, amounting to 10 percent and 8 percent of the national total.

A tragic incident occurred last September, when a rock slide with a chunk of stone "the size of an apartment building" fell off the granite face of El Capitan, killing one person and injuring another at the height of climbing season.

On a grander scale, park service employees spent more than 71,000 work hours conducting SAR operations while non-employees volunteered 12,300 hours of their time to assist.

There were also 159 fatalities reported last year.

A published review of the U.S. national park search-and-rescue efforts spanning several years noted that hiking and boating were the most common activities requiring SAR assistance while suicides, swimming and boating were the most common resulting in fatalities.

A separate report detailing the statistics of previous years cited far and away "fatigue and physical condition" as another common cause for assistance from park rangers, according to the National Parks Traveler.

Utah saw 324 SARs performed last year, marking a 68 percent jump from 2014, The Salt Lake Tribune noted.

At the Zion and Bryce Canyon, Fox News noted that 114 people had to be rescued by rangers.

Known as "the granddaddies" of Utah’s national parks, the canyon has claimed many lives in the past, including seven hikers in 2015 who died together during a flash flood in Zion National Park.

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Search-and-rescue missions performed in national parks cost U.S. taxpayers more than $3 million last year alone.
search, rescue, mission, national parks
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2018-33-21
Thursday, 21 June 2018 11:33 AM
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