THP Special Ops Unit Rescues Hiker
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | 08:08am
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Aviation and Special Operations Unit on Monday rescued a hiker who had been missing for eight days in the Great Smoky Mountains.
The U.S. Forest Service called the THP to help rescue Chad Hunter, 23, of Knoxville. A Forest Service ground crew initially found the man near the summit of the 5,800 foot mountain, about 13 miles from Gatlinburg, after hiking for nearly four hours Sunday evening. Hunter had been without any food or water for three days and was extremely weak. The THP used its rescue Huey helicopter with hoist capabilities to quickly rescue the hiker, in what would have taken the ground crew nearly six hours to complete. The troopers flew Hunter to the Sevier County Airport in Sevierville where he received further treatment. Hunter is expected to make a full recovery.
THP Captain Phil Hardin, Lieutenant Terry Botts, Lieutenant Dennis Kent, Lieutenant Lee Chaffin, and Trooper Steve Manning assisted in this rescue.