The Boy Scout motto is not lost on members of an Orem Explorer post who attempted to save a man trapped in a sand cave last week at Lake Powell.
They were prepared - and willing - to immediately answer a cry for help."The thing our boys did was give him a shot to receive medical attention," said Ty Mattingly, an adviser to the eight boys who dug Michael Harline out of the collapsed sand cave in approximately 15 minutes.
"It didn't end the way we wished," echoed neighbor Greg Smith, who also works with the troop. "But the kids put him in a position to get the best shot possible."
Harline, 23, died after being removed from life support at an Arizona hospital Thursday evening, the National Park Service said in a statement Friday.
Officials at Flagstaff Medical Center determined Harline would not recover from his injuries, according to the park service. His family gave permission to stop life-sustaining treatment.
Scout Brian Springer, who will attend Ricks College this fall, said he vividly recalls his legs burning and lungs screaming for air as he raced up a steep, sandy Moki Canyon shoreline to answer the shrill screams of two women.
Fellow Scout Norm Nielsen wasn't far behind. Six other Scouts and other boaters arrived within minutes.
Moments before, before the women's eyes, a sand cave collapsed on Harline, who had dug deep into the ground with a boat oar to connect two large caves.
"This lady is screaming, and I'm trying to ask where he is," he said. "We called for help, got into rows and started digging."
Springer was joined minutes later by fellow Boy Scouts from his Orem Explorer Post, who bounded up the hilly terrain. Mattingly and Smith ran to a boat to radio for medical assistance from park rangers.
About six minutes later, the Scouts found the oar Harline was using to carve out the walls of the cave, which was several feet underground. Using their hands to scrape away the sand, they found Harline's limp body a few feet away from the oar.
He had been covered for more than 15 minutes.
"I thought he was dead," said Springer, who tilted the man's head back and cleared him mouth of sand. He learned such First Aid tips while earning an Eagle Scout award.
Two firemen from Alpine, Calif., and a trauma nurse who happened to be camping in the area administered CPR on the site. A kneeboard and a blanket were used as a stretcher to carry Harline to Mattingly's boat.
The nurse and firemen frantically worked on Harline while Mattingly drove the boat to meet park rangers. A helicopter was dispatched to lift Harline to the nearest medical center.
"They were unbelievable. They really knew what they were doing," Smith said. "They were like ironmen."
As for the Scouts, most of whom attend Mountain View and Orem high schools, the experience hasn't caused them to start training to be paramedics. But they do believe like they did their best.
"I think he had the best chance he could've had," said troop member Shawn Bluemel.
"I believe we all were supposed to be there," said Springer, adding that it was an amazing coincidence the firemen and nurse also were hand with emergency equipment.
Mattingly shakes his head in wonder about the accident. Statistics show that six people die at Lake Powell each year. "Three died the week we were there," he said.
The Scout troop plans to go to the funeral to lend support to Harline's family.
Harline's viewing will be Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple. The funeral will be Monday at 11 a.m. in the South Jordan Stake Center, 2450 W. 10400 South. A 10 a.m. viewing will precede the services.