North Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team assists park with emergency rescue

News release from Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park received emergency assistance from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NC DPS) and their Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) to rescue a sick hiker from the Appalachian Trail on Friday, April 22.

At approximately 10:28 a.m., the park’s Emergency Communications Center received notification that Michael Elmore, a 74 year old male hiker from Newville, AL, was experiencing severe chest pains while hiking the Appalachian Trail north from Fontana Lake. NCHART along with emergency responders from the National Park Service, Graham County EMS, Swain County Search and Rescue and the North Carolina Forest Service conducted a complex rescue operation by evacuating the injured hiker from his backcountry location. First responders performed a litter carry out down to a location where NCHART could hoist the patient to their helicopter. The patient was brought out to a landing zone and was transferred to the Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) who transported him to Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC for treatment.

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.