Rescue crews recover body of missing hiker at Whitewater Falls

The body of missing hiker, Chandler Manuel, 24 of Rockwell, N.C., was located today, at the bottom of Whitewater Falls, where he was last seen on Monday. His body was extracted successfully by a National Guard N.C. Heart helicopter at 3:45 p.m. this afternoon. 

Jackson County Emergency Services Director Todd Dillard and Jackson County Sheriff Chip Hall said in a joint statement, “We want to send a huge thank you out to all of the many emergency services agencies that responded to this search over the last three days. We couldn’t have done it without their support. Emergency service people are like family, and we lost one of ours this week. We are humbled by the response of our extended emergency services family from S.C., and all counties surrounding us here in Western N.C. Thank you.”

National Guard N.C. Heart helicopter at 3:45 p.m. this afternoon at Whitewater Falls recovering the body of fallen hiker Chandler Manuel, 24 of Rockwell, N.C. Photo courtesy of GCRS.

During the search for Manuel, a rugged remote high line operations repelling team from the GCRS was searching for the victim. One of the longtime male members of the GCRS, Eldon Jamison, 71, of Yellow Mountain, fell from a rope during search operations. He did not survive the fall.

Long-time GCRS member Eldon Jamison died in the line of duty on Tuesday during recovery operations at Whitewater Falls. Photo courtesy of Amanda Jamison Blanton.

His body was retrieved from the bottom of the falls at 4:15 p.m., by a National Guard N.C. Heart helicopter team.

Eldon Jamison, 71, of Yellow Mountain was a 40+ year veteran of the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad. Photo courtesy of GCRS.

Jamison is a 40+ year member of GCRS. He is a widower, and father of three children (Amanda, Scottie, and Richard.) He held multiple offices within the Rescue Squad including Captain and Assistant Captain.

Eldon Jamison. Photo courtesy of GCRS.

He is a former employee with the Glenville-Cashiers EMS. Jamison is one of six original employees of the Glenville-Cashiers EMS in 1984 and is a member of Yellow Mountain Baptist Church.

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) is investigating the incident, which is standard when a death occurs in the line of duty. Read full-article posted on Tuesday HERE.

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