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Grand Canyon, AZ - At 1:20 pm Friday January 27, 2017, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport tower to report that two parachutists became stranded in deep snow in the forest.
The two individuals, a student and a sky dive instructor from Paragon Sky Dive, made a jump from 15,000 feet. They were approximately 2 miles off their intended landing zone but were able to land in the forest south of the airport where they encountered deep snow. The ground speed wind at the time was reported at 11.25 mph and the wind chill was 18 degrees.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, National Park Service Rangers, and a backhoe requested by airport staff responded to the area. The backhoe became stuck in the snow and was unable to access the subjects. The Park Service launched their helicopter and located the subjects. The Park Service air crew determined they did not need any medical assistance and flew them back to the South Rim.
Sheriff’s Deputies interviewed the instructor and student. The instructor reported the two had jumped in tandem. The instructor said he had mistakenly jumped too early causing them to miss their landing zone. They walked in the snow approximately ¾ of mile before the helicopter located them. Both subjects reported they were wet and cold due to the type of clothing and footwear they had.
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Media Contact: Commander Rex Gilliland, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, (928) 226-5025