Drowned Rafter Recovery
Long Creek, S.C. – Recovery operations for the body of Thomas Hill have been suspended for the evening on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River (WSR). Operations will resume again tomorrow.
“Unfortunately we were unable to recover Mr. Hill’s body today,” said Incident Commander Scott Loftis. “The river current appears to have moved Mr. Hill’s body away from its original location. Tomorrow we’ll be doing camera work to try to locate him.”
As a result of the change in Hill’s location, tomorrow’s operation will include a slightly reduced crew from Rabun, Oconee and Pickens counties including ten swiftwater/rope technicians and five support personnel in addition to the command staff.
The U.S. Forest Service and volunteers from the outfitter guides that operate on the Chattooga WSR will continue to provide on-river support.
Crews will continue to work from the river banks and a tethered raft. River flows are expected to be too high tomorrow for dive operations.
Last year, the recovery of a body in a similar drowning took nearly two days.