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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Waterfall hazards
Officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are cautioning visitors to be careful around waterfalls They advise against climbing on rocks near waterfalls and to use extreme caution when walking along riverbanks. Over the years, several people have fallen to their deaths and many others have suffered serious injuries from climbing on rocks near waterfalls or along the riverbanks, because the rocks are slippery due to mist and algae. Monday morning, Park rangers rescued a woman who fell near Laurel Falls. Rangers were notified at 9:15 am that a 63-year-old woman from Florida had fallen about 40 feet below the falls. First responders used a system of ropes and pulleys to lift the woman back to the trail. The 16 responders then carried the unidentified woman more than a mile to the trailhead where she was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the UT Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. A park spokesperson says the injured woman was alert throughout the rescue. Laurel Falls Trail was closed for about four hours during the rescue operation.

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