French Visitor To Grand Canyon National Park Survives 75-Foot Fall From South Rim

A French visitor who survived a fall of about 75 feet from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was returned to the rim via a "short-haul" operation -- he was suspended from a rope beneath a helicopter. NPS photo.

A French visitor to Grand Canyon National Park will return home with an incredible story: He survived a 75-foot fall from the park's South Rim and was hauled to safety via a rope suspended from a helicopter.

Park officials say that shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday they received a report that a man had fallen off the South Rim near Mather Point. When rangers reached the scene, they spotted the 18-year-old about 75 feet below the rim. According to witnesses, the young man slipped and fell while trying to take some photographs.

Park ranger-paramedics rappelled down to the man’s location, where they stabilized him and readied him to be "short-hauled" -- suspended below a helicopter -- back to the top of the South Rim.

When they got the man back to the rim about 4:15 p.m., an ambulance was waiting to take him to Flagstaff Medical Center where he was treated for wrist, ankle and neck injuries, according to a park release.

The National Park Service would like to remind all Grand Canyon visitors that approaching the rim can be hazardous due to uneven terrain and loose rock. Visitors are strongly encouraged to stay on the paved Rim Trail that provides a safe vantage point from which to view and take pictures of the canyon.