WHITMIRE — Two Union County teens were rescued along the Enoree River near the Newberry County line on Wednesday evening.
The teens, 18-year-old Thomas Haney of Union and a 14-year-old companion, had set off on a river adventure in two lightweight tubes, according to Newberry County Emergency Services and Prosperity Rescue Chief Glenn Hamm.
Just after 10 p.m. the Whitmire Rescue Squad, Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive team, and Union County Rescue and Dive Team were activated to assist in the search for two missing teens on the Enoree River along the Newberry/Laurens/Union county lines.
They were reported missing by family members several hours prior to the search. The teens were located about 3/4 mile from the Musgrove Mill area where they put in the river.
Hamm noted “rescue teams comprised of Fire, Rescue and Law Enforcement from Spartanburg, Laurens, Newberry and Union Counties as well as the Department of Natural Resources and SLED all worked in a coordinated effort to find the missing teens.”
A command post, comprised of members from all agencies, worked to direct SLED helicopters for an aerial search.
Rescue resources responded to boat landings and river access points downstream of the last known point of contact.
According to Bert Lucas, team captain for Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team, dividing the river into grids allowed known points to be “cleared and allow personnel to be at the ready on the river banks should the teens float downstream into the area.”
At approximately 11 p.m. command called for a boat to be launched from the Musgrove Mill area and to begin a downstream search. At 11:24 p.m. the boat team, comprised of members of the Hickory Tavern Fire Department, reported that they located the subjects.
Shortly thereafter the teens were returned to safety and reunited with their parents.
Whitmire Rescue Squad Chief David Andrews Sr. credited inter-agency cooperation with helping locate the missing teens.
“This incident played out exactly according to our policies and procedures and we were as always more than willing to help those who are in need. We’ve got a fantastic system in Newberry County with a good, strong working relationship with each other, striving for the one common purpose: to help our neighbor,” Andrews said. “We are thankful to have received the news that both victims were found safe and unharmed in a timely and effective manner.”