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Front Page » July 24, 2007 » Local News » Search and rescue in Knotted Rope Canyon
Published 2,467 days ago

Search and rescue in Knotted Rope Canyon


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor


Layne Potter rappels down to the site where the woman's body was found in one of the pot holes.

A call came into the Emery County Sheriff's dispatch on Sunday night, July 15 at 11:43 p.m. from a daughter reporting her parents were a day and a half overdue. They were in the HIdden Splendor mine area. They were due back on Saturday at noon. The Emery County Sheriff's Search and Rescue responded to the trail head of Hidden Splendor Mine and were on site by 3 a.m.

Trent Fluckey's plane began an air search at 8 a.m. on Monday. The vehicle of the couple was located at the trail head of Hidden Splendor mine. Listed as missing were Kimo Coray and Marie Coray. They are from Mona, Utah. According to Emery County Sheriff LaMar Guymon the couple came to the Hidden Splendor area on July 13, they set out to hike the Knotted Rope Canyon. At the first pot hole they came to and were attempting to cross they ran into trouble. Marie Coray rappelled down and was going to swing across the pothole to continue the hike. The amount of rope she had would allow her to do this, but she slammed into the rock wall and broke her arm and dropped into the pothole. She was unable to pull herself out. Her husband, Kimo couldn't pull her up the rope. He spent the day on Friday, attempting to pull her from the pot hole, but was unable to do so. By Saturday morning, July 14, she had passed away. He remained with his wife throughout the night. Her body has been taken to the Utah Medical Examiners office, but early estimates were possible hypothermia or drowning as the cause of death.

Sheriff Guymon said Mr. Coray at that time continued out the bottom and made his way out of the canyon. He at that time became disoriented and it is believed he walked approximately 20 miles in the wrong direction, on down the Muddy Creek.

After the call from the family on Sunday night, the Sheriff's search and rescue posse were dispatched. Coray was located by search and rescue on ATVs. One of the rescuers was Lowell Morris a physicians assistant at the Emery Medical Center. He began an IV on the man; this was at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday morning, July 16.

McLayne Potter, Sgt. Dusty Butler, Layne Potter, Sheridan Potter and Ken Eley at the site of the rescue.

Coray was returned by ATV to the trail head at Hidden Splendor. He gave information to the search and rescue as to the location of his wife's body.

Sheriff Guymon said the Public Safety helicopter arrived piloted by Terry Mercer. The helicopter was able to land near the spot where the victim was located.The helicopter assisted in bringing climbers and equipment to the site where they could retrieve the body of the accident victim. This was an all day process on Monday, July 16 with the body being recovered late in the afternoon.

Sheriff Guymon explained the spot where the couple was rappelling was about a 30 foot rappel to the top of the pot hole. After reaching the pot hole, climbers will swing across to reach the other side and continue down. Once you start down you just keep climbing down to the bottom of the canyon and then follow the trail out.

Emery County search and rescue members involved were: Layne Potter, Sheridan Potter, McLayne Potter, Lowell Morris, Brad Reed, Ken Eley, Lamont Gordon and Greg Jewkes. The climbing team approached the victim from the side of the cliff she was trying to reach in her climb. They were able to pull her up and back up the cliff where the descent was made. The UHP helicopter was waiting and brought the victim's body out. The local funeral home was awaiting to transport the body to the medical examiners where an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death will be performed.

Search and rescue member, McLayne Potter heads down to get ready for the recovery efforts.

Sheriff Guymon said the Corays were experienced hikers but, "They just got in a situation and they couldn't get out of it,"

The hike through Knotted Rope Canyon takes several hours, guide books list the hike as nine hours, but Sheriff Guymon said it takes 12-13 hours and that time estimate is for experienced hikers. "They had all the right food and equipment, they just got in a mess," said Sheriff Guymon.

Members of the sheriff's office involved in the search and rescue were: Det. John Barnett, Deputy Ray Jeffs, Capt. Kyle Ekker and Sgt. Dusty Butler.



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