Helicopter flies stranded men out of Paria Canyon near Page

Posted: Updated:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- An Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter flew two men out of Paria Canyon in northern Arizona on Friday.

William Austin, of Flagstaff, and Andrew Childers had been stranded in an area of the canyon commonly referred to as the "Narrows" since Thursday morning. Both men are in their mid-70s.

The helicopter pilot was able to fly into the canyon and land close to the pair's location shortly after 11 a.m. Friday, according to Gerry Blair with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

A DPS paramedic assessed the victims and found that Austin had a minor medical condition. Childers was reportedly in good condition.

The crew flew the men out of the canyon and to the Page Municipal Airport one at a time. A deputy then drove both men to their vehicles.

Crews tried to rescue the men Thursday evening after personnel from the National Park Service Glenn Canyon Dam received distress signals shortly before noon.

A DPS helicopter flew to the canyon but was not able to safely land due to the conditions and terrain. Crew members spotted the men and said one of them was flashing an SOS signal with a flashlight.

Blair described the area as rugged terrain with steep inclines and said there was quicksand in the canyon floor.

Crews from several agencies assisted with the rescue.

Paria Canyon is located approximately 10 miles west of Page, Ariz.