Rescuers looking for three hikers who went missing in Utah's Zion National Park were surprised to find nine huddled together in a remote canyon on Tuesday evening, according to local a report.
Search and rescue crews found the missing hikers, who had been stranded by rising water, in the park's The Subway Canyon, local television station KSL.com reported.
The three hikers that crews searched for all day were part of this group, park officials told the television station.
Officials were looking Evgenia Buzulukova, 25, of Roy, Jonathon Wilson, 28, of Portland, Ore., and David Balkcom, 37, of Salt Lake City, according to KSL.com.
The conditions in the canyon were "horrendous," with swiftly moving freezing water, KSL.com quoted Chief Ranger Cindy Purcell as saying.
'Pretty beat up'
A helicopter with infrared capabilities was involved in the search, Zion spokesman David Eaker told The Salt Lake Tribune.
"They’re pretty beat up from the ordeal," the newspaper quoted him as saying Tuesday night. "It would be tough for them to make it out tonight."
Rescuers with food and sleeping bags hiked to the stranded hikers, Eaker told the The Salt Lake Tribune.
"If need be, they would spend the night with them," Eaker told the newspaper.
Buzulukova and Wilson, who got one-day permits to go to the canyon on April 16, were in the worst physical condition and would be sent to a regional hospital via helicopter, parks officials told KSL.com.
Balkcom had apparently gone into the canyon to help find the original two missing hikers, officials told KSL.com.
"From what I understand, he was told there was a search and rescue effort that went on, or that was going on, inside the park; and it's the family's belief that he may have tried to assist on his own in that rescue effort," KSL quoted Balkcom's brother as saying.