A Cobb County, Georgia teen drowned at Little River Falls on Tuesday, May 19.
Park Ranger and Public Information Officer Matt Switzer stated around 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, a 21-year-old female and a 19-year-old male both from Cobb County, were swimming in the swift waters in the pool beneath Little River Falls.
The individuals became caught up in the current and the female was able to escape but the male did not resurface.
The victim was not publicly identified by officials as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
First responders were immediately dispatched and on-scene within minutes and a search and rescue operation was initiated.
Responding to the scene for rescue and recovery were the National Park Service rangers, Fischer Rescue Squad, Fort Payne Fire Department, DeKalb County Sheriff Office, Cherokee County Sheriff Office, Cherokee County Rescue Squad, Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency State Troopers, ALEA Aviation, ALEA Game and Fish Law Enforcement, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Law Enforcement, Cherokee County Coroner’s Office and DeKalb Ambulance Services.
Switzer said on Tuesday, above average flows on the river from recent storms, with associated low-visibility in the water, created circumstances which made it impossible for Fischer Rescue Squad divers to locate the victim in the area he was believed to be. The approaching nightfall caused the rescue attempt to be suspended until the following day.
A foot search along the river below the falls, coupled with an aerial search conducted by an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Aviation helicopter, eliminated the possibility that the victim may have been down-river of his expected location.
According to Switzer, the unsafe diving condition persisted on Wednesday, May 20. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency delivered and operated an underwater remote operated vehicle to continue the underwater search without risking additional personnel. Strong and unstable currents proved too powerful for the vehicle and the attempt to locate the victim was once again suspended for the evening.
On the morning of Thursday, May 21 Switzer stated river conditions let up enough for continued dive attempts. The victim was located and recovered by Fischer Rescue Squad divers at 8:50 a.m. and extracted from the canyon by Fischer Rescue Squad and Fort Payne Fire Department. The victim was turned over to the Cherokee County Coroner's Office at 10:30 a.m.