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1 man dies, 2 rescued after canyoneering incident in Zion National Park |

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1 man dies, 2 rescued after canyoneering incident in Zion National Park

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- A 31-year-old Virginia man died over the weekend in Zion National Park while canyoneering with two others.

The area around Heaps Canyon and Upper Emerald Pools was closed as about 30 members of a search and rescuer team retrieved the body of Andrew Arvic of Chesapeake, Virginia, on Sunday.

Arvig and others began their trip through Heaps Canyon on Saturday, and Arvig was the first of the group to exit the canyon, according to a National Park Service (NPS) news release. He was suspended 260 feet above the pools when the team reached him.

According to NPS, Arvig needed to land on a small rock ledge to re-anchor his rope, but he rapelled 20 feet past that point and was unable to get back up to the ledge.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the National Park Service are investigating the cause of Arvig’s death.

Poor cell phone reception delayed attempts to contact authorities, according to NPS.

“All of us at Zion National Park extend our sympathy to the Arvig family for their tragic loss,” said Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh.

More than 30 rescuers including a technical rescue team, a helicopter dispatched from Grand Canyon National Park and a Life Flight helicopter and crew from St. George took part in the rescue, assisting the other two canyoneers in safely rapelling to the ground.

The Upper and Middle Emerald Pools Trails, which had been closed due to rescue operations, are now open.

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