Difficult Rescue Takes 4 Hours


It took rescuers four hours to excavate an injured 17-year-old teen from Box Canyon Thursday afternoon.

The teen was climbing down a ledge near a pool in the canyon and fell, said Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad member Dave Pirtle. The teen did not suffer life-threatening injuries, but had various cuts and bruises and numbness in one arm.


A Tonto Search and Rescue squad member brings up an injured 17-year-old teen who fell down a canyon trying to reach a swimming pool. The rescue took about four hours in difficult terrain at Box Canyon. The injuries were not life-threatening, officials said.

There are a series of pools in Box Canyon that are frequented by swimmers, Pirtle said.

People swim from pool to pool and their feet get wet and they slip easily on the rocks.

This man was "at a place were they usually crash and burn," Pirtle said.

The rescue squad received the call for help at 1 p.m. and arrived on scene an hour later.

The teen was loaded onto a litter and hauled up the canyon using a 600-foot rope as the main haul line. More than 15 rescue workers helped pull the man up the canyon past multiple ledges.

"We had people dispersed all into the canyon," Pirtle said.

A mother and son on top of the canyon helped rescuers pull rope.

"What made this rescue so difficult was it rained on us and the rope was wet," Pirtle said. "Rope does not grip well when it is wet."

The canyon is located 20 miles east of Payson near Christopher Creek.

The rescue squad trained at the same location two months ago because of the number of rescues that happen in the area.

This is the second rescue of the summer in the same spot, Pirtle said.

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