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Overnight Fall Creek Falls Rescue Hampered By Severe Weather

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Overnight Fall Creek Falls Rescue Hampered By Severe Weather

A seventeen-hour rescue of a male stranded in Fall Creek Falls Park Tuesday and Wednesday hampered by severe weather.

The man died and the cause of death is unknown. Piney Volunteer Fire Department PIO Tiwanna Bricker said forty to fifty people were involved in the rescue which began around 3:00pm Tuesday and ended around 8:00am on Wednesday.

Bricker said rescuers found tracks in the snow near the park’s entrance, which was followed to the bluff line at Cane Creek Gorge. the Tennessee Highway Patrol flew thermal imaging camera and found the subject, a roughly one-hour hike to the bottom of a 700-feet bluff. Rope systems had to be setup to remove the man.

“We are very, very thankful to all the agencies that responded,” Bricker said. “We had numerous people from state parks, Putnam County Rescue Squad, White County Rescue Squad, Warren County Rescue Squad, Sequatchie County EMA, Dunlap Fire Department.”

Bricker said temperatures as low as negative thirteen degrees were recorded throughout the night. She said one of the rescuers was treated at a local hospital for mild hypothermia but is expected to be released on Wednesday.

“He responded to the patient as soon as they were located by the Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter and hiked in and was down in the gorge from approximately 11:00pm until we could get him out around 8:00am.”

Bricker said other organizations involved in the rescue included Chattanooga Cave and Cliff, the Piney Volunteer Fire Department, and the Fall Creek Falls Fire Department and State Park Rangers.

Bricker said that rescuer was the only one hospitalized during the event.

“Everyone else was able to just get warm in a vehicle, get some warm liquids, and be ok,” Bricker said.

The White County Sheriffs Department continues the investigation.


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