Teen Falls From Grand Canyon's North Rim, Survives

Boy has already been discharged from hospital after scary incident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
Teen Survives Fall From Grand Canyon's North Rim
The Grand Canyon is seen while in flight from Air Force One, with President Joe Biden aboard, en route to Grand Canyon National Park Airport, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, in Grand Canyon Village, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The father of a boy who fell almost 100 feet from the Grand Canyon's north rim feared the worst when he heard what had happened—but miraculously, teenager Wyatt Kauffman survived. "We're just lucky we're bringing our kid home in a car in the front seat. Instead of in a box," his father, who was home in North Dakota at the time, tells 12 News. Kauffman, variously reported as 13 or 14, was on a trip to the Arizona national monument with his mom when the terrifying incident at Bright Angel Point took place last Tuesday. "I was up on the ledge and was moving out of the way so other people could take a picture," says the teen. "I squatted down, and when I was, holding on to a rock. I only had one hand on it. It wasn't that good of a grip. It was kinda pushing me back. I lost my grip and started to fall back."

After that, the first thing he remembers is coming to in a helicopter, which dozens of emergency personnel from multiple agencies worked for hours to get him safely into after performing a rope rescue to get him back to the rim, the Guardian reports. He's already been discharged from the hospital and was expected to be back home by Tuesday. "Although beautiful and popular, the Bright Angel Point Trail is also exposed, narrow, and surprisingly steep," the National Park Service warns in a statement on the incident. "Visitors are reminded to stay on designated trails and walkways and always keep a safe distance if at least six feet from the edge of the rim." (More Grand Canyon stories.)

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