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Search and rescue crews find dehydrated hiker missing in The Wave

Published: Sunday, May 4 2014 8:00 p.m. MDT

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KANAB — A 62-year-old California man was rescued Sunday from Kane County's infamous Wave.

The hiker, who had a permit to hike The Wave on Friday, was reported overdue Saturday. Kane County search and rescue teams found the man's car Saturday evening and searched the dry, rugged area on horseback and by helicopter Sunday.

Search and rescue member James Holland started following a single set of boot tracks that lead into the area but not back out. He walked up a small incline where he was able to look down and see where the man had fallen in brush.

"He was pretty rough. He was a little bit responsive. His responsiveness was pretty low. I could yell at him and he would moan, flutter his eyelids," Holland said.

The hiker, who is diabetic, was suffering from dehydration and was given water and orange juice. A rescue helicopter flew him out of the area to an area hospital.

The Wave is a picturesque sandstone area famous to hikers worldwide, located halfway between Kanab and Page, Arizona, in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The wilderness area is approximately 45 miles from amenities or assistance. The Wave's trail is about 6 miles round-trip with no shade.

Last summer, the Bureau of Land Management discussed ways of improving hiker safety after three hikers died of heat-related stress.

Temperatures in the Kanab area over the weekend reached the mid-70s to low 80s.

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