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Diabetic hiker rescued from The Wave wilderness area on Utah-Arizona line

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KANAB, Utah - Kane County authorities over the weekend rescued a diabetic hiker who fell into the brush at a popular wilderness destination on the Utah-Arizona border known as The Wave where three people died last year.

Search and rescue teams were alerted Saturday after a 62-year-old California man who obtained a hiking permit was reported missing. They searched the dry rugged area on horseback Saturday evening and then spotted him from a helicopter Sunday.

Search team member James Holland said the man was suffering from dehydration. He was flown to an area hospital.

"He was pretty rough," Holland told the Deseret News (http://tinyurl.com/lk8tzt5 ). "His responsiveness was pretty low. I could yell at him, and he would moan, flutter his eyelids."

The Wave is a picturesque sandstone area in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument halfway between Kanab and Page, Arizona.

The wilderness area is approximately 45 miles from amenities or assistance. The Wave's trail is about 6 miles round-trip with no shade.

Last summer, the Bureau of Land Management took steps to improve hiker safety there after three hikers died of heat-related stress, including a California couple on the Fourth of July. Ulrich Wahli, 70, apparently died while seeking help for his ailing 69-year-old wife, Patricia Wahl.

Elisabeth Bervel, 27, of Mesa, Arizona, died July 22 during a hike there with her husband. The couple was celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary and had won coveted hiking permits a few months earlier.

In response, the agency posted a new trailhead sign and stepped up warnings on a BLM website. It also shows an online safety video at the Kanab Visitor Center and translates safety brochures for foreign visitors — many from Germany, France, Japan and China.

The agency doles out 10 hiking permits to walk-ins on a daily basis and uses an online lottery to award 10 other daily permits.

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Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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