Thursday, June 12, 2014

Press Release


3:00 PM

Drowning at Bullfrog Marina 

At approximately 8:00 a.m. on Thursday June 12, 2014, the body of a 22 year old male was recovered near the boat docks in Bullfrog Marina.


Tuesday, June 10th, 22 year old Alec McQueen from Salt Lake City, was boating with two female friends in the Bullfrog area.  All three are employees of ARAMARK, and were living and working in Bullfrog for the summer.  They were returning to the dock area about 7p.m.  As the boat was pulling into an open slip to park, the driver turned off the boat and Alec who was sitting on the back of the boat jumped in.  The driver could see Alec in the water a few feet behind the boat.  She looked away and when she turned back a couple of seconds later she could not see Alec. 


When they could not find Alec, they called 911 and a National Park Service, (NPS), ranger arrived shortly after.  Other personnel arrived from NPS and Utah State Parks.  Notification was made to the NPS dive team and the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.  Because it was so late in the day, it was decided that a search would be initiated the next morning. 


Wednesday morning the NPS Lake Powell dive team was transported by plane from Wahweep Marina to Bullfrog to assess the situation. When their dive boat arrived in early afternoon, they attempted to use their underwater robot and sonar to locate Alec.  The sonar malfunctioned and after several tries, it was determined that it could not be fixed on site.  Three divers from the NPS team were put in the water and attempted to search the initial target area.  They searched at a depth of about 90 feet in zero visibility conditions.  They made several passes over the area working completely by feel before having to return to the surface.  At the same time, a request was made to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for the use of their dive team, robot, and sonar.  They arrived in Bullfrog at about 4 a.m. Thursday morning.


After a 6 a.m. briefing on Thursday, the Summit County team launched their boat and were able to locate Alec’s body about 7:30 in the primary search area at a depth of 113 feet.  The National Park Service’s divers were then able to retrieve the body and bring it to the surface.  The Kane County Sheriff was on scene and took position of the body and transported it to the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City. 


Alec’s Parents and siblings were on scene at the time of the recovery and were able to see Alec before he was transported by Sheriff Smith.


Thanks to all those involved in this difficult incident.  Numerous agencies responded to the scene to include National Park Service, Utah State Parks, Kane County Sheriff’s Office, and Summit County Search and Rescue.  The case remains under joint investigation.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Multiagency Rescue at Lake Powell

Multiagency Rescue at Lake Powell

Saturday April 5th, the Kane County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team (KCSAR) participated in a mutual aid rescue with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, (GCNRA),  Coconino County Search and Rescue, (CCSAR), and the Utah Highway Patrol Aero Division.

At around 7am, a male individual from Grand Junction Colorado began climbing Gregory Butte which is located at buoy 26 in Last Chance Bay At Lake Powell.  A little after 9am, he was over 500 feet up the cliff face when an anchor that he had placed in the rock failed causing him to fall approximately 30 feet.   His fall was stopped by his previous anchor and rope leaving him hanging on the cliff face by his harness.  When the first anchor came out of the sandstone face, it also caused a large slab of stone to break free which fell hitting him in the head, severely injuring the climber.  It is very possible that his life was saved by the use of a proper helmet.

His friends, who were watching him from a boat below, had to drive to an area where they could get cell phone coverage.  The call went to Glen Canyon Dispatch who contacted the Kane County Sheriff's Office Dispatch center with a request for help believing the accident location was in Kane County.

That morning Kane County Search and Rescue was already involved in a joint training in Kanab Utah with Coconino County Search and Rescue, and a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter.  When the call came in, the combined teams began working on a rescue plan.  It was later determined that the location of the incident was actually in San Juan County.  After consulting with San Juan County's Sheriff and Search and rescue, they requested that Kane County continue with the operation because we were closer and had resources ready to respond.

Two GCNRA rescue personnel had already responded by boat and helicopter to the scene.  UHP pilot Shane Oldfield and technical flight officer Sgt. Ryan Bauer transported three KCSAR rescue personnel and gear from Kanab to the top of Gregory Butte where they joined with the GCNRA team.  A team from CCSAR as well as additional personnel from KCSAR responded by vehicle to the Page Arizona Airport where they could be be picked up by the UHP helicopter and transported to the scene if needed.

The five man team at Gregory Butte was able to drill and set anchors on top of the Butte.  A GCNRA medic was lowered to the injured climber.  He was able to secure the climber and both were then raised back to the top by the other four rescuers.  The injured  climber was transported by the UHP helicopter to a waiting medical helicopter from Guardian Air out of Page Arizona.  He was then transported to the Page hospital. 

All rescue crews then returned to their respective areas.  This is another great example of the collaborative efforts and relationships that have been build and fostered between the agencies of Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, Utah Highway patrol and our Federal Partners at Lake Powell. Thanks to all involved in this successful and safe rescue.


Additional information:
The 30 year old injured climber was flown to Flagstaff Arizona Hospital, and not to Page Arizona as the original post stated.  He is currently in ICU but expected to recover.  His injuries were serious and it will take time to heal.
The climber and two friends had been camping at the base of Gregory Butte since Thursday April 3rd.  The individual had completed a couple of previous shorter climbs on Gregory Butte Thursday and Friday.  He is considered an expert climber.  Climbing in the sandstone like he was doing is considered to be one of the most dangerous kinds of climbing next to climbing without safety equipment.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Weekly Information Update #4
      January 20, 2014
Construction has started on US-89 North of Kanab between mileposts 65 and 68. The road is now closed to all traffic Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 11:30 am until approximately
April 11th.

The road closure is necessary while construction crews blast rock cliffs and clear debris. This will allow for the realignment of US-89 through the area and create a wider and safer roadway. The Utah Department of Transportation is constructing improvements to US-89 from the 300 North intersection in Kanab to the Kanab Creek Bridge near MP 68.
The 3-mile long project will provide:
* Pavement resurfacing
* Wider Shoulders
* Various roadway alignment shifts throughout the project
* Acceleration lane at the Port of Entry
The winter construction schedule has been designed to safeguard the local economy by avoiding interference with the tourist season. By excavating rock during a season of lower traffic volume, engineers also hope to safely maintain traffic when the road is open, keep the work zone safe and maintain steady production rates so paving can begin when temperatures are sufficiently warm in the spring.
Weekly Construction News
Over the Martin Luther King Holiday, January 20, crews will follow their normal construction schedule.

Monday, January 20 - Friday, January 24

From 7 am to 8:30 am one lane travel with pilot cars and flaggers will be in place.

From 8:30 am to 11:30 am US-89 is closed to all traffic from MP 65 - MP 68.

From 11:30 am to 6:00 pm one lane travel with pilot cars and flaggers will be in place.

From 6:00 pm to 7 am The roadway will be open to two lane travel.
Excavation work is moving ahead at different areas on the project. Several trucks and earth moving equipment are operational during construction hours.
This week on the project crews will continue to pioneer temporary roads to allow for drilling equipment to have access. The drilling equipment will begin drilling for blasting operations when feasible.

A test blast could be conducted on the project this week pending approval by appropriate agencies. This blast will be coordinated with local officials and state fire officials.

Motorists will notice an increase in truck traffic. The added trucks will continue to move material from the dig sites to the dump sites. Most debris removed from the dig sites will be used as fill material in other areas on the project.

Work continues on a new box culvert near MP66. Crews are forming the new box and reinforcing the structure with rebar. Lengthening the structure will allow for the new alignment of the roadway and more efficiently handle run-off water.
About 100,000 cubic yards of material will be moved from the roadway excavation to the dump sites on the project. The material dumped will shore-up the existing roadway and provide needed fill for the Kane County Water Conservancy District.

With the cultural history present in the construction area an Archeologist is on-site at all times during construction to assist with any sensitive operations.
During an emergency situation where emergency responders need to travel through the construction zone they will be allowed to do so. The contractor will maintain a pathway through the project at all times for any emergency situations and will be coordinating with the Kane County Sheriff's office.
Public Involvement
All questions regarding the construction schedule and travel access should be directed to Lisa Beck or Dave Asay from FrontLine Public Involvement.
They will coordinate with citizens and businesses in providing accurate construction impact information.  
Frontline Project Managers are Lisa Beck - 801.663.1711 and Dave Asay - 801.712.3030. 
All media inquiries should be directed to UDOT Region 4 Communications Manager Kevin Kitchen at or the department's media hotline at 801-746-9932.  
"Held up in Kanab"
The Volunteer Center in Kanab is coordinating a local effort to help tourists with the closure on US-89. They have produced a brochure with information about local business discounts, various tours and activities travelers can participate in while waiting for the daily closure to end. There will be refreshments at the Visitor Center in Kanab and at the Moqui Cave parking area on the North end of the project for tourists.   
If you would like to get involved contact Vicki Hooper 435.644.3696 or email
Quick Links
Project Hotline
Project Radio Station
For roadway info
24 hours a day
tune to 92.7 FM
on your radio.
As an added safety precaution work stops on the project as traffic passes various active excavation sites to prevent debris from falling on automobiles.
Traffic Information

US-89 is narrowed to a one lane operation Monday - Friday from 7:00 am to 8:30 am and 11:30 am to 6:00pm. Traffic will be controlled with pilot cars and flagging. Motorists can expect up to a 20 minute delay while waiting in the queue.

Daily closures on US-89 are from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, Monday through Friday.

From approximately 6:00 pm to 7:00 am there will be two lane travel through the construction area with reduced speeds.

The above traffic schedule will continue through April 11th.

Motorists are asked to obey all traffic signs and keep speeds to a minimum.

Construction personnel will be working next to active traffic lanes. Be aware of their proximity and follow the path of the pilot cars. 

Speed limits have been reduced through the construction zone at all times.   

A UDOT Project