Monday, February 26, 2007

Rulon Gardner Survives Plane Crash

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -Olympic wrestling champion Rulon Gardner and two Utah men were rescued by a Lake Powell fisherman Sunday after surviving a small plane crash near Good Hope Bay the day before.

Gardner was a passenger in the Cirrus SR 22 along with pilot Randy Brooks and his brother Leslie Brooks, according to a news release from Becki Bronson, public information officer for Garfield County. The plane was flying low when it struck the water and all three men were able to get out of the plane before it sank.

Authorities are uncertain of the exact location of the crash, but the three men swam for more than an hour in 44 degree water before reaching shore and then spent the night without shelter, according to the release. None suffered life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

"It takes only about 30 minutes for someone swimming in 44 degree water to start suffering the effects of hypothermia, so the fact that they swam in it for an hour, not to mention surviving the plane crash and the night without fire or shelter, is pretty amazing,'' said Steven Luckesen, a district ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. "If these guys were a cat with nine lives, they just used up three of them.''

Gardner and the Brooks called a relative to take them for medical attention in American Fork.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, Bronson said.


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