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Lost tourist saves rock climber who fell 50 feet in canyon

Posted at 11:27 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 23:27:43-04

BOULDER, CO (KDVR/CNN) - A rock climber in Colorado was incredibly lucky after taking a fall on Sunday.

He tumbled 50 feet from a cliff, in an area out of cellphone range.

Luckily, the right person to help him was there by sheer coincidence.

Helping an injured climber is not exactly what Bailey Parton had in mind that day.

"We're from North Carolina, not even from here. Don't know where we are," Parton said.

She wound up at Boulder Falls on accident.

"We're actually supposed to be going to Red Rocks Amphitheater. We ended up here somehow," Parton said.

A wrong turn took her to the exact right place.

"We were kind of just driving through and somebody yelled 911," Parton said.

A 30-year-old climber had fallen 50 feet down a cliff.

Without cell signal, it would still be another 30 minutes before anyone could even call for help.

Luckily, that climber was about to get a miracle.

"I am an EMT in North Carolina," Parton said.

Bailey even spent six months on a rescue squad in the Appalachian Mountains.

She knew exactly what to do.

"We had to cross the creek so this dude gave me his harness. Hiked up probably, maybe, 200 feet."

The climber had non-life threatening injuries to his shoulder, but Parton worried about his spine too. She was the only one there for an hour.

"Holding his head and the whole upper body the whole time. It was really tough but it's good. That's what we train for," Parton said.

It took a whole team to get the climber to safety.

But it was one tourist from North Carolina that made all the difference.

"It happened for a reason. We got lost for a reason. I'm glad we were here," Parton said.

A wrong turn to the right place.

There was another coincidence during that incident.

The climber usually does not wear a helmet, but he used one on Sunday, which rescuers said probably saved his life.

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