On Sunday January 14, 2018, park rangers were notified of a lost elderly couple when the couple's daughter called 9-1-1 to report them missing near Sheep Ranch in the southern area of the park.
Search efforts were conducted throughout the day in steep wooded terrain. The missing persons were spotted in the late afternoon by a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter, which was able to guide ground searchers to their location.
The couple had reportedly gotten disoriented the previous day while hiking off trail and unintentionally stayed the night out in single-digit temperatures.
The lost party were both hypothermic. The female was transported to Big South Fork Medical Center, where she was treated and released the next day. The male was flown to the University of Tennessee Hospital, where he is currently in intensive care.
Scott County Rescue Squad, Scott County Sheriff's Office Deputies, Tennessee Highway Patrol Air Operations, Scott County EMS, and local landowners participated in the search.
No additional information is available at this time.