A teenage boy has miraculously survived a near-100-foot fall at the Grand Canyon.
We’ve all had to dodge the odd group snap or stand to the side so people can pretend their holding up a building (although they’re usually a million miles from the right angle), but this is way more dangerous - way more on the edge.
Rescue crews needed a whopping two hours to pull Wyatt Kauffman up to safety after plunging from a ledge at popular tourist spot, North Rim.
The young American, from North Dakota, was on a family trip to the park in Arizona, on the Bright Angel Point Trail.
Wyatt was flown to a Las Vegas hospital with serious injuries but has since been discharged.
The teen needed treatment for nine broken vertebrae, a ruptured spleen, a collapsed lung, a concussion, a broken hand and a dislocated finger.
“I was up on the ledge and was moving out of the way so other people could take a picture. I squatted down and was holding on to a rock.
“I only had one hand on it,” Wyatt told Phoenix television station KPNX while in hospital.
“It wasn’t that good of a grip. It was kind of pushing me back. I lost my grip and started to fall back.”
Dozens of emergency workers were involved in rescuing the 13-year-old.
A team from the Grand Canyon National Park rappled down the cliff and set up a rope rescue to raise him safely up to the rim, after it was decided a helicopter rescue would not be possible.
Wyatt explained: “I just remember somewhat waking up and being in the back of an ambulance and a helicopter and getting on a plane and getting here [to the hospital].”
After the rescue and airlift to Vegas, he was flown to a pediatric trauma centre for further care.
His father, Brian Kauffman, was back home in North Dakota when he heard about the fall and rescue.
“We’re extremely grateful for the work of everyone. Two hours is an eternity in a situation like that,” he said.
Brian explained Wyatt was discharged from the hospital on Saturday (12 August). The family planned to take a road trip back to replace the memories of the fall.
“We’re just lucky we’re bringing our kid home in a car in the front seat instead of in a box,” said the dad.
In 2022, there were 1,086 emergency medical service incidents and 11 fatalities at the Grand Canyon National Park, as listed on the National Park Service site.Featured Image Credit: Family handout/Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images