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Man rescued after falling off cliff in Uintah County

A 52-year-old man was rescued and transported to a Colorado hospital after falling from a cliff face in Uintah County and striking his head. (Photo: Uintah County Sheriff's Office)

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah — A 52-year-old man was rescued and transported to a Colorado hospital after falling from a cliff face in Uintah County and striking his head. 

A group was camping nearby at the Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery when they heard a man calling for help, according to a news release from the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office. The group called dispatch to report the incident around 1:40 p.m. 

That’s when the five-hour rescue operation began. 

One member of the camping group is a member of the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team — but said the call’s echoes bouncing off the canyon walls made the man’s location “impossible to pinpoint,” according to the news release. 

The Uintah County search and rescue team responded with help from the Utah Department of Public Safety and Classic Air Medical helicopter crews. 

The Classic Air Medical team located the man, but couldn’t reach him right away because of the steep terrain. 

The DPS was able to reach the man and “hoist him off the cliff,” the release reports. 

Uintah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dustin Cheshire said the man was climbing in an “out of the way” area where “you wouldn’t really expect someone to be.”

“If it hadn’t been for the camping group with a Wasatch County search and rescue member who heard this guy yelling and screaming,” Cheshire said. “It’s unlikely anyone would have found him.”

The man was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.