2 Hikers Got a NYE Lift From Tenn. National Guard

Tennessee National Guard had to swoop in on a Black Hawk helicopter to rescue stranded pair
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2023 8:41 AM CST
2 Hikers Got a NYE Lift From Tenn. National Guard
A scene from the rescue mission on Saturday.   (Tennessee Department of Military, via Chattanoogan.com)

Two hikers are OK after a New Year's Eve hike on the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee turned frightening. Per a release, the state's Department of Military reports that it and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency received a call not long after 5am local time on Saturday about a pair of hikers needing help in the Sampson Mountain Wilderness region, about 45 minutes south of Johnson City. The hikers had become stranded in the dark and were stuck in their spot, which was surrounded by cliffs and drop-offs. The Greene County Sheriff's Office had tried first to get to the hikers, but it was too precarious for the department's staff.

And so in went a state National Guard team on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter soon after 8am, finding the hikers after about 45 minutes. Fifteen minutes after they were located, the hikers were safely hoisted onto the chopper. They had minor injuries and were treated at the hospital and released. It's not the first time in recent memory that the state's National Guard has had to head out for an Appalachian Trail rescue. Last January, a disoriented hiker was rescued in Great Smoky Mountains National Park after becoming lost in heavy snow, while a hiker who'd fallen ill along the trail was airlifted out of the same park in March. (More Tennessee stories.)

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