SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A 78-year-old Utah woman was stuck in quicksand for more than 12 hours before sheriff’s deputies found her on a trail in the dark near Arches National Park, authorities said on Wednesday.
The woman, whose name was not released, told rescuers she got one leg stuck in the pool about 9 a.m. on July 9 while hiking alone in an area north of Moab known as Courthouse Wash, 235 miles (378 km) southeast of Salt Lake City.
Lieutenant Kim Neal of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said the woman’s friends raised the alarm after she failed to turn up to a book club gathering later that day at a library.
Search-and-rescue crews from the sheriff’s office and the national park discovered her car in a trailhead parking lot at about 9 p.m. Two hours later, they found the woman trapped in the quicksand about a quarter of a mile up the trail.
Neal said it was surprising she was not found earlier, given the area is popular with hikers and mountain bikers, but that the summer heat may have kept people off the trail that day.
The woman, who had drinking water with her, was not injured and was in good condition when she was rescued, he said.
Reporting by Jennifer Dobner; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney