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Belgian tourist dies at geological gem on Utah-Arizona line

August 1, 2018

FILE - In this May 28, 2013, file photo, a hiker walks on a rock formation known as The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. A 49-year-old Belgium man has died in an apparent heat-related death while hiking a popular spot near the Utah-Arizona border called "The Wave." Kane County Sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge said Christophe Pochic was found dead Monday, July 30, 2018, after his 16-year-old son called his mom who was in a hotel to tell her that his father had become disoriented and needed help. The family was visiting Utah. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — 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.

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 cellphone reception is spotty at best.

Only 20 people are allowed to visit each day, chosen in a lottery system.

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