N.C. youth rescued from Roan after becoming lost


   A 12-year-old North Carolina youth who became separated from friends Tuesday while hiking the Appalachian Trail on Roan Mountain was returned safely to his party following a search and rescue by members of Wings Air Rescue and Carter County Rescue Squad.
   Terry Arnold, EMS director, said the squad received a call around 10:26 a.m. Tuesday notifying them of the lost child, and began assembling a ground team.
   "We called Wings before we left here and I talked to Don Savage, and he agreed to fly," Arnold said.
   "We figured with no foliage on the trees that he could be spotted. That's how they found him, by eyeballing the mountain. He had on a white T-shirt and they could see him from the distance."
   The squad set up a command center at Carver's Gap and members of the squad's Hasty Team, led by John Burleson, went in on 4-wheelers from the bottom of Hampton Creek in Roan Mountain.
   Savage, pilot of the helicopter, accompanied by a registered nurse and a paramedic, set down in a field on top of the Roan once they spotted the missing youth. "Their team went down and got him and brought him back to the campsite," Arnold said. "We had him back with the people in about 1-1/2 hours."
   The youth, who was from a boys' home in Salisbury, N.C., told rescuers that while walking the trail, he saw something that caught his eye and walked away, Arnold said. "They searched about an hour and couldn't find him."
   The youth was located between the area of the balds and Carver's Gap.
   "He went off of the Appalachian Trail, because it kind of dips in there south of us, and that's where he veered off," Arnold said.