A family grieves today as a woman was found dead in Arizona on Saturday, July 31, after being swept up by a flash flood near Lake Powell during a hiking excursion.

Heather Rutledge, a 43-year-old woman from Louisville, Kentucky, was reportedly trekking with her family around 2 p.m. along the Labyrinth Canyon near Lake Powell on Saturday when flash floods swept her away from her family leading to her eventual drowning, according to the Arizona Republic.

The husband and her sons would later be able to take her out of the water, but their attempts to revive her through CPR proved futile. Their attempts to transport her body out of the area were also marred by their rental boat being damaged by the flash flood, ABC affiliate WHAS reported.

The Labyrinth Canyon in Lake Powell can only be accessed by kayak or paddleboard due to the nature of its geography.

The husband and sons themselves were only able to leave the area with the help of another boater who towed them away to safety. Upon reaching higher ground, the family promptly contacted the National Park Service for help, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona started a search for Rutledge’s body with the National Park Service at 6 p.m., but their efforts were complicated by the weather conditions, another flash flood warning, as well as the general darkness of the night.

They resumed the recovery efforts on Sunday morning but were faced with more challenges in their attempts to recover Rutledge’s body, including flood debris from the turbulent flash floods.

“Due to flood debris, rescuers could not use the kayaks to get up the rest of the canyon and had to swim through heavy canyon debris, to locate the deceased,” the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office explained.

Rutledge’s body was found late Sunday and transported to Wahweap Marina and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s office to determine her cause of death.

A Kentucky hiker drowned in Lake Powell in Arizona on Saturday after a flash flood swept her away from her family and safety. This is a representational image. Photo by Filip Mroz on UNSPLASH

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