A Utah man's story of survival highlighted on Outdoor Channel's new television show

By Kimberly Nelson

Published 05/29 2014 08:56PM

Updated 05/29 2014 10:17PM

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A Utah man's story of survival has caught the attention of a national television show. The Outdoor Channel is shooting an episode for their new series “Fight to Survive,” and 58-year-old Dean Ririe is their subject. In 2008 Ririe survived more than 16 hours in the water after being pinned down by a boulder.


"I just started calling for help hoping somebody would hear me,” recalled Ririe. “It took a while."


Ririe was in the frigid waters of Little Cottonwood Creek overnight, pinned down by a large boulder. He was there more than 16 hours before a family heard his cries for help.


Ririe had been out fishing for his dinner when the boulder he was standing on gave way, pulled him under the water and pinned down his foot.            


"I tried pulling myself out,” said Ririe. “I tried prying myself out with branches that I could reach. I had a nice sharp knife and though about cutting my foot off."


His amazing story of survival is now being highlighted by the Outdoor Channel.


Outdoor Channel Producer and Director Gabe Torres explained the idea behind their new show ‘Fight to Survive.’ He said, "True stories of survival, inspirational stories of people who have been in dire circumstances and have come through the other side of it and lived to tell their tales."


Some of the rescuers who were there that day and helped save Ririe's life are back to re-enact the scene for the new television series.


Unified Fire Paramedic Firefighter Jake Harmer told ABC 4 Utah, "We tried extrication gear, jaws of life we tried just about everything until we came up with the air bag idea, that was our last ditch effort and it happened to work."


The actual rescue took about an hour, but shooting the re-enactment of the event will take several days.


Ririe said, "Yesterday when we did the re-enactment part where I actually fell under the water and was dragged by the boulder I kept thinking to myself how in the hell did I live through this because I was cold."


Rescuers thought the same thing. When they finally got to Ririe his body temperature was about 64 degrees; he wasn't only alive he was talking.


After much reflection the father of 3 says it just wasn't his time to die.


"I just had a strong feeling that I was going to make it that along with a lot of determination and will to survive got me through it,” said Ririe.


Ririe’s story of survival will air on the outdoor channel this October.  

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