Belgian tourist dies while hiking The Wave at Utah-Arizona border

Posted at 12:29 PM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 17:04:19-04

A Belgian tourist has died of apparent heat-related causes while hiking at a popular rock formation called "The Wave" near the Utah-Arizona border. 

Kane County sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge says 49-year-old Christophe Pochic was found dead Monday night after his 16-year-old son called his mom at a hotel to tell her that his dad had become disoriented and needed help. 

The man's son located other hikers who helped him search for the missing man for three hours after he walked the wrong way, a KCSO spokesperson said.

Pochic was located by BLM officials who confirmed he had died, authorities said. Initial reports indicate that Pochic's death may have been heat-related.

According to KCSO, the area has experienced "extremely" hot temperatures in recent weeks and the slick rocks in the area can be deadly.

Alldredge says it's the first death at The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument since a trio of deaths in 2013.

The geological gem attracts worldwide visitors with its swirls of searing red, orange and yellow that fold into a bowl.

The 6-mile, roundtrip hike there is unmarked and cell phone reception is spotty at best. Only 20 people are allowed to visit each day, chosen in a lottery system.