Woman found dead in Zion National Park while hiking in Utah with her husband

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A 31-year-old woman was found dead Wednesday in Zion National Park, a day after starting a hike with her husband. Her husband, 33, reported that he and his wife became “dangerously cold” overnight and had symptoms consistent with hypothermia, the National Park Service said in a statement. statement Thursday.

The National Park Service, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Medical Examiner’s Office are still investigating the cause of death, the NPS said. A search team found the woman near the Virgin River in the Narrows, the thinnest section of Zion Canyon and one of Zion National Park’s most popular areas. First responders found the woman unconscious and administered emergency aid before pronouncing her dead.

Rescuers took her husband to the Zion Emergency Operations Center after finding visitors helping the man on Riverside Walk, a paved path that leads from the Sinawava Temple, a natural amphitheater and shuttle stop, to the Narrows. Visitors alerted Zion National Park shuttle drivers on Wednesday that an injured man and an unconscious woman needed help in the Narrows. Others present attempted to perform CPR on the woman.

The man told park officials that he and his wife had just started an authorized 16-mile trip through the canyon the day before. In the morning, NPS said, the husband went for help while his wife remained at the couple’s resting place. Temperatures in Zion Canyon were in the 40s and 30s Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The tragedy follows the death of another hiker, Jetal Agnihotri, 29, who died in the Narrows this summer during a flash flood. She was found in Virgin River after a search of several days. On the Zion National Park website, hypothermia is one of the safety issues listed. concerns for visitors. “Water immersion is the fastest way to lose body heat,” the website says.

Also, “conditions are constantly changing, so before you begin your hike in the Narrows, be sure to be aware of the day’s weather forecast and the potential for flash flooding,” Zion National Park website said. “Hiking in the river is very dangerous when flash floods threaten.”

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Hypothermia is caused by a exhibitions in cold temperatures, resulting in dangerously low body temperatures. It’s more likely to happen in extremely cold weather, but can also happen in cool temperatures if someone gets cold from sweat, rain, or standing in cold water. Hypothermia can occur quickly and a victim may not notice it.

Symptoms include stumbling and poor coordination, uncontrollable chills, fatigue, confusion, or slurred speech. If you notice any of these symptoms, Zion National Park recommends that you stop hiking and change your wet clothes to dry ones promptly.

“Warm the victim with your own body and a hot drink, and shelter them from breezes,” the Zion National Park website says. “A preheated sleeping bag will also prevent further heat loss.” To prevent hypothermia, he recommends avoiding wearing cotton clothing, which does not provide insulation when wet, and eating “high energy foods before being cooled”.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive cold present a greater threat to life than excessive heat, with cold deaths outnumbering heat-related deaths roughly every year. The US Forest Service says it is responsible for about 85% of outdoor recreation death.

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