KSP performs its first ever hoist operation during Red River Gorge rescue

Wolfe County Search and Rescue worked with KSP to rescue two people who didn't return from a canoe trip

WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State Police executed its first hoist operation ever to help Wolfe County Search and Rescue find and rescue two people who didn’t return from a canoe trip as scheduled in the Red River Gorge.

The initial call for the two lost people came in Monday night.  Wolfe County Search and Rescue called-in KSP to help with an aerial search, which began around 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, according to rescue crews.

Because of fog, the aerial search was delayed until 9:00 a.m.

The missing people were located around 10:30 a.m. in a drainage area about six miles upstream from where the two planned to end their canoe trip, according to rescue crews.

Rescue crews had to push through heavy vegetation, scale cliffs and waterfalls to get to the people, who endured a night in below-freezing temperatures.  The two say they survived the cold by removing their wet clothes and built a shelter from leaves, taking refuge along a cliff-line.

One of the two people was airlifted out of the area, the other person received medial treatment on site, according to rescue crews.  Rescue crews say it appeared the woman who was airlifted out was suffering from hypothermia.

Red Star Wilderness and the Wolfe County Sheriff’s Office helped in the rescue operation.

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Photo courtesy: Wolfe County Search and Rescue/Facebook

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