Injured hiker plucked from gorge

BURKE COUNTY

A picture posted on the department's Facebook page showed a North Carolina Emergency Management Helicopter Aquatic Rescue (NC HART) Team hoisting the man to safety with a N.C. National Guard Blackhawk chopper.

The hiker, Rob Gessner, and his cousin were cut off by rising water, and then Gessner broke his leg.

Rescuers decided it would take hours to carry him to safety, so they called in the chopper team for help.

The NC HART program is a state-coordinated effort that combines the expertise of local rescue technicians with the training, maintenance and capabilities of the N.C. National Guard Blackhawk Unit.

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