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Kayaker recovered near The Sinks
December 19, 2022; 4:09 p.m.

the sinks great smoky mountains national park
The Sinks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park; image by Jeaneane Payne

GATLINBURG, TN -- Water level receded in the Little River overnight making it possible for National Park Service rangers to recover the body of 61-year-old Carl Keaney of Knoxville, TN.

On Friday, December 16, Great Smoky Mountains National Park dispatch received a call that Keaney disappeared underwater while kayaking above The Sinks and did not resurface. Although high water levels the last several days made recovery efforts difficult, emergency personnel searched the area where it was safe to do so. Today, rangers were able to safely recover Keaney’s body near where he was last seen.

Emergency personnel from Townsend Fire Department, Blount Special Operations Response Team, and American Medical Response (AMR) assisted Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers. AMR transported Keaney to the Blount County Medical Examiner’s office.

No other details are available at this time.


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