Drowning victim in Big Creek area of Park found 

by Sep 16, 2020NEWS ka-no-he-da


Emergency Response crews are shown at Midnight Hole on Tuesday, Sept. 15. (NPS photo)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials and multiple assisting emergency response agencies located 25-year-old male, Yogesh Patel, of Oak Forest, Illinois at 12:09 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Patel, who was discovered in 18 feet of water in Midnight Hole by rescue divers, was removed by emergency response personnel shortly before 1 p.m.

Patel was reported missing at 7:36 p.m. on Sept. 14 after he reportedly fell into the water at Midnight Hole and was observed struggling.  Bystanders attempted to pull Patel from the water but were not successful.

Agencies assisting in the recovery operation and investigation included Haywood Country Emergency Management Agency, Haywood County Rescue Squad, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, Haywood County Emergency Medical Services, Fines Creek Fire Department, Jonathan Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Clyde Fire Department, Newport Rescue Squad, Center Pigeon Fire and Rescue, Henderson County Rescue Squad and Dive Team, Asheville Rescue Squad and Dive Team, and Cherokee Tribal Medical Examiner’s Office.

– National Park Service release