Injured hiker, dog rescued by helicopter in Polk Co.

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POLK Co., N.C. (WSPA) — Crews searched overnight for a missing hiker rescued from a mountainside on Wednesday morning.

Polk County Emergency Management Director Bobby Arledge said a man was reported missing around 10 p.m. Tuesday after he went hiking on White Oak Mountain.

Crews searched for the man through the night as temperatures dropped into the 50s, according to Arledge.

The hiker was found early Wednesday morning.

Hypothermia was beginning to set in and the hiker was weak, Arledge said. The hiker’s leg was also injured. 

Arledge said NCHART (N.C. Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team) was called in to help rescue the man due to the steep terrain. 

According to its website, “NCHART is a highly specialized team consisting of N.C. National Guard and N.C. State Highway Patrol aircraft and aircrews matched with N.C. Emergency Management and local first responders that form a mission ready package for helicopter based rescues.”

Responders hoisted the hiker into a helicopter rescue basket before returning to save his dog. 

7News crew at the scene said the man and dog are in stable condition.

We’re told they live nearby and the hiker is believed to be in his 70s. 

Polk County Rescue and EMS responded to the scene, along with Columbus, Mill Spring, Saluda and Broad River fire departments.

Rescue crews pictured on Holbert Cove Road in Polk County (WSPA).

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