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Search for Drowning Victim

Long Creek, S.C. - Recovery efforts for the body of Thomas Patrick Hill, a Florida resident, on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River will resume tomorrow at 7 a.m.

"Our hearts go out to Mr. Hill's family this evening," said Scott Loftis, Incident Commander for the recovery operation. "We know this is a very difficult time for them."

Efforts will continue tomorrow at 7 a.m. for up to 12 hours and will take place via land and boat; water-based operations may be possible depending on weather and if the river's flows fall overnight.

"We feel confident that we're conducting our operations in the right area and will continue in that same area tomorrow," said Loftis.

Operations will consist of 15 swiftwater operators from Anderson, as well as Pickens and Oconee counties in South Carolina. Eight land-based rope technicians will be coming from Rabun County, Ga., the state of Georgia and Georgia Search and Rescue. US Forest Service personnel will provide on-river and land-based support.

Two paramedics from Oconee County Medical Center and Rabun County, Ga., will provide medical support for personnel if needed. The South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SCHART) will be on standby.

Anderson and Pickens County are providing communications support. The commercial outfitter guides that operate on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River under permit from the US Forest Service also continue to provide support.

"We are thankful for all of the individuals and organizations that are helping us with this recovery effort," said Loftis.


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