A Georgia man visiting North Carolina for a bachelor party died after falling off Upper Catawba Falls near Old Fort last weekend, media outlets reported.
About 60 emergency responders worked for hours in steep and rugged terrain to get to the man’s body on Saturday, reported WSPA, the CBS-TV affiliate in Spartanburg, S.C..
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Jimmy Paul Schmidt, 37, of Georgia was looking out over the falls when he lost his footing and fell, according to the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, the station reported.
Upper Catawba Falls is a 100-foot cascading waterfall, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Schmidt had gone hiking with other members of the bachelor party when he went ahead of them to the top of the falls, as they continued taking pictures, Asheville ABC-TV affiliate WLOS reported.
He was pronounced dead at the bottom of the falls, according to WLOS.
Schmidt fell at about 11:45 a.m, and rescuers took until about 5:30 p.m. to pull his body from the area, WSPA reported.
At least one person a month suffers serious injuries at the falls and has to be rescued, Forest Service spokeswoman Cathy Dowd told the (Asheville) Citizen-Times.
No federal trail leads to the upper falls, Dowd told the newspaper. Hikers instead navigate steep terrain on a “user-created” trail, she said, adding that signs warn against hiking to the upper falls.