OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE ISSUED
Little River Canyon National Preserve News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 25, 2018
FORT PAYNE, Ala. – Around 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, park personnel were notified of a victim that had gone into the river and was not seen coming out. This incident was down river from the Little Falls area at Little River Canyon National Preserve. Multiple agencies from both DeKalb and Cherokee counties were dispatched.
A 17 year-old male from Huntsville, AL along with two other friends jumped into the river and when attempting to exit the river one individual fell back into the water and was swept down river. A bystander called 911 and National Park Service (NPS) Law Enforcement Rangers responded to the scene. National Park Service worked in cooperation with several agencies, including Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency, Adamsburg Volunteer Fire Department, Fort Payne Fire Department, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Fischer Rescue Squad, Broomtown Volunteer Fire Department, Cherokee Rescue Squad, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, DeKalb Ambulance Service, and Cherokee EMS. A hasty search was performed by the initial responding agencies. Rescuers were able to locate the individual under an overhang along the east side of the river. The area was difficult to access and a technical rescue was utilized to extricate him to the bluff where he was assisted to a transport vehicle. Once located, medical personnel assessed him and remained with him throughout the extrication and transport to the staging area.
The Park Service would like to remind everyone that this time of year the river levels can fluctuate rapidly and water temperatures remain cold. With increased rains over the last several days, Little River has been experiencing record high water levels. This greatly increases the dangers associated with the river.
Several rescue crews from Cherokee County and DeKalb County converged on Martha’s Falls at Little River Canyon at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night searching for an individual that went missing from his group.
Little details are being released at this time however, Rescue officials say the person was found alive but appeared to have hypothermia. He was treated at the scene by DeKalb Ambulance Service Paramedics before being taken by his parents to a nearby hospital to be checked out.
The National Park Service says that an official News Release is expected later in the day.