20 hikers rescued from Devil’s Bathtub


(WJHL) —The U.S. Forestry Service has closed the Devil’s Bathtub Trail for Monday after all 20 stranded hikers were rescued.

According to the Fort Blackmore Volunteer Fire Department, the forestry service has closed the trail after all 20 hikers were rescued and accounted for.

The closure is just in place for the remainder of Memorial Day as of 10:40 a.m., according to Fort Blackmore VFD.

All of the stranded hikers at the Devil’s Bathtub were rescued just before 10 a.m. Monday, according to the Duffield Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

Chief Roger Carter of Duffield Volunteer Fire and Rescue said that one rescued hiker has mild hypothermia and one may have a twisted knee.

Carter told News Channel 11 that there were conflicting numbers originally reported, but 20 hikers in total were stranded in the area, with five still needing rescue.

Carter said rescuers are currently making their way into the bathtub area by an alternative route, as the normal route is too treacherous at the moment. Rescuers will be entering the area by going over the top of the route and through the brush.

Carter said some of the missing hikers are part of a family group.

Around 8:15 a.m., Carter said a son was able to make his way down and informed rescuers that his mother and sister are a part of the then-seven hikers still stranded.

Rescuers have warned people to stay out of the region as it is inaccessible due to high water, and the search time is out there.

The Bristol Virginia Professional Fire Fighters Association has also sent personnel up to the Devil’s Bathtub to assist in rescue efforts.

According to a post from the association, Virginia Task Force 4 is responding to the trail on Monday morning to assist due to the rising flood waters.

UPDATE 11:30 p.m. — According to the Fort Blackmore VFD, 8 hikers have been rescued, around 20 are still stranded.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m. — There are 12-20 people currently stranded in the Devil’s Bathtub area, according to the Fort Blackmore VFD. This is an increase in 12 stranded hikers originally reported.

FORT BLACKMORE, Va. (WJHL) — The Fort Blackmore Volunteer Fire Department along with the Duffield Fire and Rescue are responding to an incident involving 12 stranded hikers at the Devil’s Bathtub area, according to a Facebook post from the Fort Blackmore Volunteer Fire Department.

According to the post, Sunday’s thunderstorms in the area caused the surrounding creeks to rise, resulting in 12 stranded hikers in different locations on the trail.

The hikers remain stranded. According to Fort Blackmore VFD, rising and swift waters are making the rescue difficult to reach the hikers.

This is a developing story. Stay updated on-air and online at WJHL.com.

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