Man holding small child trapped on waterfall ledge as crews rush in, NC rescuers say

A man and small child were rescued from the ledge of a North Carolina waterfall, officials say.

The pair was trapped on a ledge between two steps of a waterfall the morning of March 29 at McGalliard Falls Park, according to Valdese Fire Department’s Assistant Chief, Truman Walton. The man was holding the child when officials arrived.

A rescuer repelled down the rocks to the man and child and strapped the man into a harness, Walton said. Once the man was safely attached, he used a rope to climb back up the rocks while holding the child.

Both the man and the child were then transported to UNC Health Blue Ridge Valdese for evaluation, Walton said. Neither had serious injuries. The age of the child was not released.

McGalliard Falls Park is home to McGalliard Falls Trail, which is a 0.4-mile out-and-back trail near Valdese, according to All Trails. It is considered an easy hike that is great for walking.

Valdese is about 70 miles northwest of Charlotte.

How to be prepared while hiking

If you’re planning to hike, the National Park Service says there are 10 essentials you should take:

  • Navigation: Pack a map, compass and a GPS system. Make sure you study your route beforehand and understand how to use the tools.

  • Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat can help protect your skin and eyes from UV rays.

  • Insulation: A jacket, hat, gloves, raincoat and thermal underwear can help you be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions.

  • Illumination: A flashlight, lantern and headlamp can create light if you get stuck in the dark — and don’t forget to pack extra batteries.

  • First-aid supplies: It’s a good idea to have a first-aid kit on hand while hiking. Check the expiration date on items before you pack them.

  • Fire: Matches and a lighter can help start fire to act as an emergency signal in times of need.

  • Repair kit and tools: Duct tape, a knife, screwdriver and scissors can be helpful if items break during your hike or you need assistance.

  • Nutrition: You should pack an extra day’s worth of food in case something goes wrong. Park officials recommend having “salty and easy to digest snacks.”

  • Hydration: You should drink water often and before you feel thirsty if you’re hiking in hot weather. Keeping your body hydrated is “of utmost importance,” park officials said.

  • Emergency shelter: Packing a tent, space blanket, tarp and bivy can help you be prepared if severe weather breaks out or your plan takes a turn.

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