The Washington County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue had been working with Zion National Park in an effort to locate two missing men from Nevada. The search began on Sunday when the two men, who were believed to be floating a raft down the Virgin River through the Narrows, were overdue their expected completion time and concerned family members notified the National Park Service. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office works in conjunction with the Office of the Medical Examiner, and Zion National Park when fatalities occur within the Park.
The Zion Narrows was closed to hikers because the Virgin river was carrying more than 200 CFS (cubic feet per second) on Saturday, and 451 CFS Monday. More than 140 CFS is considered unsafe for hikers. However, the waterway is open to kayakers up to 600 CFS if they have a permit – neither of the missing men had one, according to park officials.