A surgeon and athletic trainer who worked for a Tampa Bay orthopaedic medicine practice had been identified as the two hikers who died right after floodwaters surged via a narrow canyon in Utah final weekend.

Authorities on Thursday identified Dr. Jeffrey Watson and William “Bill” Romaniello as the two hikers whose bodies had been recovered this week right after they went missing when floodwaters tore via Buckskin Gulch, a slot canyon in southern Utah that is preferred with hikers.

Each guys worked for the Orthopaedic Healthcare Group of Tampa Bay, which has offices in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties.

Watson was an orthopaedic surgeon and companion at the practice, according to its internet site. He was also a co-owner of the Tampa Sports Academy, which provides individual education, coaching and other solutions. And he was chief executive officer for Los Canna International, a corporation that delivers consulting and other solutions for the cannabis sector, his LinkedIn profile shows.

Dr. Jefferey Watson is pictured in a screenshot of his bio web page on the internet internet site of the Orthopaedic Healthcare Group of Tampa Bay.

[ omgtb.com ]

Romaniello was an athletic trainer for Orthopaedic Healthcare Group of Tampa Bay and served as the practice’s director of enterprise improvement and sports medicine. He was also the head athletic trainer at Jesuit Higher College.

A third hiker with them who was rescued and survived, Ed Smith, is chief clinical officer for the practice.

“Tragedy has hit the practice, and it is with profound sadness that we share the loss of Dr. Jeffrey Watson and William Romaniello, ATC, two pillars of the practice that leave an amazing legacy and monumental void in the hearts of absolutely everyone that knew them,” according to a short statement posted on the practice’s Facebook web page on Thursday.

The statement asked for privacy for the men’s households. A particular person who answered the telephone at the practice on Friday stated representatives had no more comment.

William “Bill” Romaniello is pictured in a screenshot of his bio web page from the Orthopaedic Healthcare Group of Tampa Bay exactly where he was an athletic trainer and director of enterprise improvement and sports medicine.

[ omgtb.com ]

The Kane County Sheriff’s Workplace on Thursday released the names of the 3 guys and in a news released offered a lot more facts about the search and rescue efforts.

The guys had been organizing to hike from Wire’s Pass to Lee’s Ferry, a difficult 45-mile trek via rugged canyon land. The route would take them via Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in North America. They began Friday and had been organizing to arrive in Lee’s Ferry on Sunday.

When the guys had not contacted their households by Monday morning, one particular of their wives reported them overdue. Authorities launched a search, dispatching at least two helicopters to the location.

About five p.m. Monday, a Utah Division of Public Security helicopter spotted a particular person with an infrared camera. A crew member lowered into the canyon confirmed the man was Smith. He was “extremely cold and weak,” the news release stated.

Videos released by the Utah Division of Public Security show the helicopter crew spotting Smith, who was lying on his back on the canyon floor and waving his arms, and then hoisting him into the chopper. He was taken to a hospital for remedy.

Smith told authorities that the group was hit by a flash flood on Saturday morning and carried downstream. Smith stated he and Watson had been in a position to free of charge themselves from the floodwaters and regroup. They searched for Romaniello but had been unable to come across him so they continued downstream to get aid.

Watson had a leg injury and was unable to continue.

“After having Jeff situated, Ed continued to appear for aid,” the news release stated.

Kane County Search and Rescue crews who entered Buckskin Gulch at the Middle Route Trail access location located Romaniello’s physique in the canyon Monday evening and continued to search for Watson till early Tuesday morning. The teams faced neck-deep frigid pools of water and waist-deep quicksand, according to the news release.

Later on Tuesday, authorities received a distress contact from a different group of hikers. Even though searching for these hikers, crews encountered a particular person who stated he’d passed a dead physique on Monday and offered some info on the place. Crews had been unable to come across the physique the subsequent day and heavy rains in the location delayed delayed search efforts.

Later Wednesday, searchers located Watson’s physique about three miles into Arizona.

“Our hearts pour out to the Romaniello and Watson households for their loss,” the sheriff’s workplace news release stated. “Both guys had been pillars in their neighborhood and a massive loss to the healthcare field exactly where they worked.”

In this file photo from 2016, hikers are noticed the narrows of Buckskin Gulch in Kane County, Utah.


Romaniello, a Connecticut native, graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Sports Science in 1991, according to the Orthopaedic Healthcare Group of Tampa Bay’s internet internet site. He spent his profession as a trainer, educator and rehabilitator. He joined the Healthcare Group in 2015 and constructed a sports medicine system that treats individuals at nearby sporting events. He became the head athletic trainer of Jesuit Higher in 2017, the school’s internet site shows.

Outdoors of perform, Romaniello enjoyed spending time with his family members, watching sports and playing golf, his profile stated. He was a father of 3, Jesuit’s internet site stated.

“Bill was committed to his passion in life which was assisting other individuals all through his profession in the athletic education field,” a GoFundMe web page raising revenue for Romaniello’s funeral stated.

The GoFundMe described him as a “loved father, son brother and ‘pop-pop.’”

”He usually stood for undertaking what’s ideal, really hard perform, family members very first, and assisting other individuals without having them asking for it,” Romaniello’s stepson Joshua Clark stated in a public Facebook post.

Watson was a top rated graduate from his squadron at the United States Air Force Academy and served six years in the Air Force, according to numerous on the net biographies. Immediately after finishing his surgical education, he was assigned to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, exactly where he served as the chief of orthopaedics. He left the Air Force in 2014.

Watson specialized in sports-connected injuries in young and adult individuals, such as members of the U.S. military and youth and collegiate athletes, his Tampa Bay Sports Academy profile says.

Selina Pierce Patterson was one particular of Watson’s individuals who posted on social media praising him and mourning his death. Patterson’s post stated Watson replaced her knee final year and ahead of that operated on her rotator cuff.

“My heart is broken,” Patterson’s post stated. “He was outstanding at his profession and was a sweetheart at bedside disposition.”

Occasions employees writer Michaela Mulligan contributed to this report.

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