May 25, 2020–3:40 p.m.
According to information from Public Information Officer Matt Switzer – a 23 year old male from out of state was swimming at the Hippie Hole (also known as Martha’s Falls) at around 2:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon when he went under and did not resurface.
First Responders including the National Park Service, Fischer Rescue Squad and Fort Payne Fire were dispatched and were on the scene within minutes. The victim was found underwater at 3:10 p.m. and his body recovered.
The body was turned over to the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office at 4:20 p.m. – no further information is being released at this time pending notification of family.
This is the second drowning at Little River Canyon within a week.
Cherokee County EMA also responded to assist.
The river is currently flowing three times more than the average, and while it may appear to be an easy swim, you can’t always know what the currents and hydraulics are doing beneath the surface. Even strong swimmers can be caught unaware by any body of water.