SPRINGDALE, UTAH (KTSU/CNN) - Officials said a hiker was stuck in quicksand for almost 10 hours in a remote area at Zion National Park Saturday.
“His leg was buried up to his knee and he was unable to free himself,” agency officials said in a statement. "He and his companion tried to free his leg and were unsuccessful."
Ryan Osmun’s hike with his girlfriend, Jessika, took a turn for the worst about four and a half miles into the trip.
Jessika first got stuck in mud. She tripped and fell forward into the water.
As Osmun was helping her, he too began to sink, with his right leg sinking all the way into the sand.
Jessika eventually got out, but Osmun was still trapped.
After several failed attempts of trying to dig out his leg, Jessika left Osmun with warm gear and clothing and went to call for help, according to officials.
“About 30 minutes after she left it started snowing really hard, so I was stuck in the water while it was pouring snow,” said Osmin. “My hips were just so tired from standing like that, that they weren’t holding me up. I couldn’t, I couldn’t really control to hold myself up."
Osmun fell asleep and collapsed into the near-freezing water. He says he used a stick to get up.
Eight hours after Jessika left, help finally came.
"I had seen a flash of light, and at that point I thought I was dreaming. I didn't think that it was real," said Osmun.
Officials said when crews located Osmun, he was suffering from hypothermia, exposure and other injuries,
The ranger tried using a rope and pulley to free Osmun. It took crews two hours to free him from the quicksand.
Osmun said he thought he would lose his leg.
The snow storm forced Osmun and the rangers to stay the night. But then a small break in the storm allowed a DPS helicopter to hoist Osmun out.
“I feel very lucky to be alive and to have my leg,” Osmun said.