Member of NC rescue squad dies while searching for man who fell from waterfall

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Officials report a member of the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad (GCRS) has died while taking part in the search for a man who fell from Whitewater Falls.

On May 4, 2020, Jackson County Emergency Management received a call from Transylvania County regarding someone had fallen into the water at the base of Whitewater Falls.

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GCRS and other responders worked to locate the victim, identified as Chandler Manuel, 24, from Rockwell, N.C., until storms came in around midnight. Due to safety concerns resulting from the weather and difficult terrain, the search was temporarily called off on Monday. Officials say Manuel’s family has been notified of the incident.

Tuesday, May 5, GCRS, along with Jackson County Emergency Management, a Henderson County swift water rescue dive team, and other agencies continued the search.

While a GCRS rugged remote high line operations repelling team worked to locate Manuel, officials report one of the longtime members fell from a rope. The member did not survive the fall.

Officials said his body was retrieved at the bottom of the falls at 4:14 p.m. on Tuesday by a National Guard N.C. Heart helicopter team. As a standard procedure when a death occurs in the line of duty, officials said the N.C. State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) is now investigating the incident.

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