Hiker rescued from Smokies

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- An Appalachian Trail hiker was rescued yesterday from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Park service spokeswoman Molly Schroer says rescuers used two helicopters to pick up 56-year-old Steven Ainsworth, of Washington, N.C.

The National Park Service requested the assistance of the THP after receiving information from the Cherokee, N.C. 911 emergency center that a hiker called and indicated he was trapped on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokey Mountains. Apparently, he had encountered waist deep snow and had been stranded for several days.

Although an experienced hiker, Ainsworth called 911 to say he didn't think he'd be able to make it out because of snowdrifts from Superstorm Sandy.

Ainsworth was transported to the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Sevierville, where he was met by emergency personnel on the ground.
He was taken to LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville, TN, where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

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