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Payson man, 2 sons rescued Saturday after being stranded Wednesday

Published: Sunday, April 13 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

A Payson man and his two sons were rescued from Sandthrax Canyon Saturday, where they had been stranded since Wednesday. The children survived on little water and a single granola bar after their father became trapped in the canyon.

KSL.com

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SANDTHRAX CANYON, Garfield County — A Payson man and his two sons were rescued from Sandthrax Canyon Saturday, where they had been stranded since Wednesday.

The children survived on little water and a single granola bar after their father became trapped in the canyon, Wayne County spokeswoman Kassidee Brown said in a news release.

Wayne County officials began searching for 35-year-old Jason Knight and his sons, ages 8 and 11, Friday around 4:30 p.m. after they were reported as being overdue. Knight and his children had apparently planned to camp in the canyon Wednesday and Thursday and return to their home in Payson Friday around noon, the release states.

Around 8 p.m. Friday, a woman contacted the Garfield County Sheriff's Office and said she had seen a man and two boys enter Sandthrax Canyon with a day pack, but never saw them return to their campsite in three days' time. Saturday, Garfield County Sheriff's Office requested the help of Wayne County Sheriff's Office search and rescue teams and the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter to aid in the search for Knight and his sons.

Just before noon, the helicopter located the boys, who were "ledged at the top of Sandthrax Canyon," Brown wrote. Knight was found around 30 minutes later.

The man was 150 yards from his children "approximately 350 feet down the bottom of the canyon entrapped by the tight canyon walls," Brown wrote.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office High Angle Rescue Team performed two rescues, safely extracting the boys just before 2 p.m. and Knight around 4:30 p.m.

The children had not seen their father since Wednesday.

"Jason (Knight) had told them to stay where they were to prevent further incident," Brown wrote. "The boys had a small amount of water between the both of them, along with a granola bar to share. They drank all the water they had that Wednesday."

The temperatures were between 75 and 80 degrees during the day and in the 40-degree range at night during the time the family was stranded.

The children were reportedly cramped and dehydrated, but had no serious issues. Knight "appeared to be fine," according to Brown.

An ambulance that responded to the scene was not needed.

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