34 year old Ryan Osmunm and his girlfriend, Jessica McNeil, were hiking along in Zion National Park in Utah when Osmunm’s leg got caught in quicksand. They were approximately 3 hours hike from the trailhead on a trail called the Subway Route. His girlfriend was unable to free him and with no reception on her cellphone, decided to leave Osmunm to hike back to call 911:
“His leg was buried up to his knee and he was unable to free himself. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. The scariest thing. I didn’t know if I could do that hike by myself. At one point I thought, I might as well turn back and… we could just be together for the last moments.”
It was a tough decision but ultimately the correct one. Jessica was showing signs of hypothermia when rescuers made it to her and her boyfriend had to wait several more hours before being located.
ABC7 reports by the time rescuers reached Osmunm he was stable but suffering from exposure, hypothermia, and extremity injuries after spending 10 hours in the quicksand. Unfortunately weather was rolling in and given the nature of the terrain and his injuries, helicopter extrication was required but couldn’t be performed safely until the following morning. Ryan and Jessica made it out in one piece and are thankful for their rescuer’s efforts:
“To the rescue crew that saved me, there’s not enough I can put into words how grateful I am to them.”
Here is a video about what to do if caught in quicksand:
photos from Ryan Osmun