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S.C. crews find Thomas Hill, of Tampa, dead after whitewater rafting accident

10:19 PM, Jun 20, 2013   |    comments
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Long Creek, South Carolina--The search for a Tampa man who fell off a raft and into a South Carolina river Wednesday has ended in tragedy.

Authorities said they found Thomas Patrick Hill's body in the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River during a recovery operation Thursday.

Hill was on a whitewater rafting trip as part of a company retreat when he fell out of the raft and became trapped under a rock by rushing water. 

"Our hearts go out to Mr. Hill's family this evening," says Scott Loftis, Incident Commander for the recovery operation. "We know this is a very difficult time for them."

Though crews located Hill's body Thursday, officials say they'll attempt to recover his body in the morning. The recovery team of over 25 will include swiftwater operators, land-based rope technicians, US Forest Service personnel, paramedics and members of the local Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team.

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