Successful Search for Overdure Canoeists
Contact: Jeannine McElveen, 423.569.2404 ext 232
Two canoeists arrived safely at Burnt Mill Bridge in Big South Fork NRRA as a search for them was underway after they were reported overdue on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. Kevin Adcock and Kevin Mezick, both of Knoxville, Tennessee, began their one day trip around noon on Monday, May 18, 2009. When they failed to return that evening, friends contacted the Scott County Sheriff’s Department who then contacted Big South Fork rangers. Mr. Mezick’s and Mr. Adcock’s vehicles were located and rangers began a search. Six rangers began searching the river at approximately 10:00 a.m. while two employees searched on foot. Assistance from a State Police helicopter in the area was also requested.
At approximately 11:00 a.m. the two men exited the river at Burnt Mill Bridge. A ranger who was stationed there during the search contacted them and confirmed their identities. The search was then called off.
The two men stated that they had capsized in a rapid and gotten wet. They spent the night by the river and started canoeing at sunrise. Mr. Mezick and Mr. Adcock had no camping gear or life jackets with them. Both men appeared to be in satisfactory health.
Did You Know?
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects only 14% of its watershed. Unfortunately it is the lower end of the watershed, so that everything which happens outside the park, impacts the parks water quality.