ST. GEORGE — An 18-year-old male experienced a possible paralyzing injury while tubing at Sand Hollow State Park Sunday afternoon.
Park manager Jonathan Hunt said the young man was part of a group of teenagers from the Las Vegas area who had rented a boat and were using it to pull a large flotation tube with multiple riders around the reservoir.
There were three people aboard the tube when the incident occurred.
“The tube tipped over on the lake and one of the passengers, an 18-year-old, immediately began yelling that he couldn’t feel his legs,” Hunt said.
“They were able to get him on board the boat and call for medical as he was being taken to the shoreline. He was in and out of consciousness,” Hunt added. “Medical arrived and did their initial assessment. They were able to get him to open his eyes a little bit and he was able to wiggle his toes before they drove away.”
The injured teen was transported to a hospital for further treatment. No additional information about his condition or prognosis was immediately available.
In addition to Utah State Parks law enforcement officers, personnel from Hurricane Fire/EMS and the Hurricane Police Department responded to the incident.
Hunt said what saved the young man’s life is that he was wearing a personal flotation device.
“Without a life jacket, he probably would have gone down,” Hunt said. “Definitely, that life jacket, in a case like this, is something that allowed his friends to get him onto the boat. That’s one reason why a life jacket is always required when you’re being towed by a boat.”
When riding any type of watercraft or when on or near open water, “we would advise that people wear their life jackets all the time,” he added.
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