ST. GEORGE – A teenage girl from Salt Lake City, vacationing with her family in St. George, became tangled in her rope as she rappelled down the side of the Dixie Rock Thursday afternoon.
The St. George Fire Department responded to aid the stranded teen, whose hair had become caught in her rope as she rappelled down the hillside.
“They had all their equipment set up right,” St. George Fire Capt. Darren Imlay said. “But on her way down, she became nervous, leaned forward and got her hair caught in the figure eight.”
Imlay said this is a common mistake among new rappellers.
“Once you’re caught, you’re stuck,” he said. “If you continue down, it could tear your scalp off.”
The St. George Fire Department Technical Rescue Team responded to the Dixie Rock after the teen’s family called 911. Once on scene, they performed what is called a “pick off.” The St George Fire Department put their own rappelling system in, then rescuers proceeded down the side of the hill and lifted her off her ropes.
“We pretty much take her off the ropes, lift her off and lower her down,” Imlay said. “She was stuck on the side of the hill for around 20 minutes.”
After the teen was lowered to the ground, rescuers established that she was uninjured.
In light of the incident, the St. George Fire Department urges people to be safe and smart while rappelling.
“There are a lot of good anchors, already drilled, on the top of the hill; in fact, we used an existing anchor,” Imlay said. “This is our third rope rescue this year. A lot of people self-rescue, but we still respond to five or six a year.”
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