Wolfe Co. Search & Rescue share safety tips following accidents at Red River Gorge

Wolfe Co. Search & Rescue share safety tips following accidents at Red River Gorge
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 10:12 PM EDT
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WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) -In 2023, the Wolfe County Search and Rescue team have already reached 35 rescue missions.

Wolfe County Search and Rescue Chief, John May said they’ve been averaging about 80 rescue missions a year. He said that number has definitely increased within the past five years.

Their team is full of experienced hikers, but before they head out they recommend letting someone know where you are and where you plan to go.

“I’ll always call my wife, and say ‘hey I’m on Rock Bridge Trail. I should be out by three, but if you haven’t heard from me by four it’s time to call someone,” May said.

On Friday, a 46-year-old Lexington woman was injured on rugged trail. Fortunately, their team responded quickly.

“Just because of the sheer volume, we average about 1.5 per week. Most of them take hours. The one last night we started at 6 pm and finished about 10:30 pm,” May said.

One day before that rescue, their moving water rescue and dive team were dispatched to a drowning on Wolfe Lake.

“Water temperatures are still cool, which can set in cramps if you’re trying to swim like that,” May said. “We encourage people, as boating and swimming season starts to ramp up, if you’re on a lake, and if you’re not a very good swimmer, have some sort of floatation device with you, and never try to cross a large body of water without something.”

He said cell phone service at Red River Gorge can be difficult to get, but if you ever are in danger, he urges people to call 911.