Great Smoky Mountains National Park Boating Beta

posted July 1, 2009
by Mark Singleton

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Keep this number for assistance in the Great Smoky Mountains Nation Park - (865) 436-1230. This number connects to the Park Dispatch Office and should be used in non-emergency situations. For boaters who regularly paddle in the Park it is advisable to program the number in your cell phone.


See BoaterTalk post:  http://www.boatertalk.com/forum/BoaterTalk/1659925

June 25, 2009 - If you didn't catch it, an overturned kayak was found just outside of the Smokies on the MP of the Little Pigeon.  It spurred a search and rescue scenario that was serious enough for it to be reported to local TV stations.  Not sure of the outcome and I hope everyone is OK.  But this did raise a very significant question.  Who do we notify when we a boat gets pinned or gets out of our control in the Smokies and darkness or other circumstances force us to abandon it for any period of time?  My friend Russell asked this question and this was his post on a local paddling list serve.

I asked the GSMNP folks what would be the best way to report a lost boat.Here is their reply:

Hello, If there is a report of an accident or missing person, the park responds and/or conducts a search, but just finding an empty kayak in the water would not necessarily result in a full-fledged search and rescue effort as the town of Pittman Center launched during the recent incident. If one of your club members loses a boat, but is otherwise okay, please call the park's Dispatch Office at (865) 436-1230 to let them know that an empty boat may be found and it is not an emergency situation. This is a non-emergency line which is staffed from 6:00 a.m. - midnight, but if a serious accident or other emergency has occurred in the park, sometimes all available dispatchers have to concentrate on radio communications among responding units and don't answer the line. If there is an accident with a serious injury or a member of your party is known to be missing, please call 911. Best regards,C. BloomGreat Smoky Mountains National Park
 

American Whitewater
Mark Singleton
PO Box 1540
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Phone: 828-586-1930
Fax: 828-586-2840