At about 8:30 the morning of Friday, January 13, 2012, the staff at Little River Canyon National Preserve was notified that a vehicle had washed downstream from one of the river crossings in the backcountry with three people stranded inside. A search by park staff located the vehicle in rapids in Little River, downstream from Hartline Campsite. A rescue began with several agencies responding. Park partners assisting in the rescue were Fisher Rescue Squad, Adamsburg Fire Department, DeKalb Ambulance Service, DeKalb Sheriff’s Department, and two Alabama State Trooper Helicopters.

On Thursday night about 7:30 pm the group was attempting to drive their vehicle across the rain swollen river when they were swept downstream. At daylight, one of the adults swam to the riverbank and walked out, reporting the accident about 8:30 am.

Two children, aged 2 and 4, and an adult were extracted from the vehicle through the use of a long line rescue by a State Trooper Helicopter crew. The victims were suffering from hypothermia. They had spent a cold, wet night in below freezing weather in the middle of the river in their Jeep. They were taken to the hospital and were under observation at last report.

The park backcountry roads are closed from dusk until dawn. Rescues at the park often involve park staff and many agency partners, some who spend many unpaid hours helping others.