Missing person found near Wilbur Dam

A woman Washington County Sheriff’s Department officials reported missing Saturday was rescued from the Watauga River about a day later.

Public Information Officer for the Carter County Sheriff’s Office Thomas Gray said they received notification from Washington County officials at around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

“WCSO advised that they had reason to believe she was in the Hampton area of Carter County,” Gray said. “They also advised that the subject was insulin dependent, and that there could be a possible medical issue.”

He said the investigation was the result of a cooperation between several different agencies, including both county sheriff’s offices and even the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.

An hour later, he said a TWRA officer found a vehicle matching the description at the park overlook on Wilbur Dam Road.

Officials then took to the Watauga River via boat to continue searching and later found her struggling in the river with her head above the water.

“Deputies called for the Rescue Squad to assist in getting her out of the river, and kept her head above water until EMS arrived and they pulled her out,” Gray said.

Officials from the Carter County Rescue Squad succeeded in getting the woman out of the water and getting her medical attention, alongside emergency medical services.

“The subject was found to have extremely low blood sugar, and she had been injured on one side of her face,” Gray said. “Deputies believe she fell down a steep slope into the water.”

The woman, who Gray did not identify, received transportation to the Johnson City Medical Center, where Gray said he did not receive any further updates on her condition.

He said the rescue was successful because of the cooperation of the several departments and volunteer services who assisted in the search and rescue.

“We appreciate the work the other services gave us,” he said. “We are glad we were able to find her.”

The incident came right before two days of continuous rainfall in the Carter County area, which could make many walking trails dangerous and driving more hazardous than normal.

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