The following are a series of media releases from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office regarding the recovery of the body of a man who died while wingsuit flying in Paria Canyon earlier this year.
Posted on: January 13, 2016
Sheriff’s Office Working with Several Agencies to Recover Body of Man Who Died While Wingsuit Flying
Page, AZ – On Tuesday, January 12, 2016, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of a death in Paria Canyon involving a man who was wingsuiting with friends. The man has been identified as 29-year-old Mathew Kenney out of Santa Cruz, CA. His body was located in the steep canyon walls approximately 15 miles north of Lee’s Ferry in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area within the BLM Arizona Strip District. A Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Short Haul Team and an Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter responded to recover the body. Due to the steep terrain and icy conditions on top of the canyon walls, the Sheriff’s Office was not able to safely anchor to access the body yesterday. The Sheriff’s Office continues to work with other agencies including Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue, National Park Service Search and Rescue, and Bureau of Land Management to develop a plan that will allow rescuers to safely access and recover the body.
Posted on: January 14, 2016
Update on Base Jumper Recovery
Today’s attempts to recover the body of the man who died while wingsuit flying in Paria Canyon were unsuccessful. Our Search and Rescue Coordinator continues to meet with assisting agencies to discuss plans and options for a recovery of the body while maintaining the safety of the recovery crew.
Posted on: January 19, 2016
Body of Wing-Suit Jumper Mathew Kenney Recovered
Page, AZ – On Sunday, January 17, 2016 a private group of professional technical climbers engaged by family members rappelled down to the location where the body of 29 year old Mathew Kenney of Santa Cruz, CA came to rest. Those rescuers lowered the body to a slope where Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter and crew based out of Kingman, AZ performed a one skid landing. The DPS helicopter off-loaded a Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue technician and was able to conduct a long line extraction of the body to Lees Ferry where it was released to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Technical Rescue Team members and National Park Service helicopter from Grand Canyon had previously attempted a body recovery by helicopter on Thursday, January 14, 2016. Due to safety issues and incoming weather, the recovery was suspended and additional plans were discussed for a technical recovery.
Mathew Kenney died on January 12, 2016 when he was wing-suiting in the Paria Canyon – Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area within the BLM Arizona Strip District approximately 15 miles north of Lees Ferry. His body was located in the steep canyon walls.