KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee National Guardsmen rescued two Appalachian Trail hikers who were stranded in a remote area south of Johnson City on New Year’s Eve.

A crew from the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Knoxville was dispatched to the Sampson Mountain Wilderness Area on the morning of Dec. 31, 2022. An official release said the hikers were stranded in the darkness of night and surrounded by cliffs and drop-offs in the area.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office were the first to receive the call for help. Air support was requested as they were unable to reach the area.

The Tennessee Military Department and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were notified at 5:15 a.m. and the helicopter crew left Knoxville shortly after 8 a.m.

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The hikers were located at 8:45 a.m. and lifted into the aircraft just before 9 a.m. They were transported to Johnson City Medical Center where they recovered from minor injuries before being released.

The Sampson Mountain Wilderness Area spans over 10,000 acres and is located within Cherokee National Forest.