Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are heartbroken over the recent incident at Whitewater Falls resulting in the tragic loss of two souls, Eldon Jamison, first responder, and Chandler Manuel, 24, of Rockwell, NC.
On Monday, May 4. Chandler Manuel was hiking the Foothills Trail with several other hikers, and he fell from the falls and went under water. The initial 911 call came to the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Station and they were the first responders supported by Lake Toxaway Fire. During the search for Manuel, a rugged remote high line operations rappelling team from the GCRS was searching for the victim. One of the most experienced and veteran members of the team, Eldon Jamison, 71, fell from a rope during search operations. He did not survive the fall.
After Eldon’s tragic passing, the Lake Toxaway team took over and searched all night and the next day for these two victims.
Over 100 responders from Buncombe, Jackson, Transylvania and Oconnee counties worked this effort. Carmon West, Fire Chief, alerted Janet Flowers at the Falls Cafe and she prepared meals for all the rescue workers as they worked two long days and overnight. Lake Toxaway Charities, on May 7th approved an emergency donation to the Lake Toxaway Fire Rescue in the amount of $2,500 to cover the costs of meals and other out of pocket expenses incurred during the rescue operation for the hiker and Eldon.
The search for Manuel was completed on Wednesday afternoon. Jackson County authorities said his body was extracted successfully by a National Guard N.C. Heart helicopter at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Glenville-Cashiers first responder, Eldon Jamison was a beloved member of our greater community and his loss will be felt deeply and painfully. We send our heartfelt condolences to Eldon’s family, friends, and the first responder community, please keep them in your prayers.We also ask for your compassion and prayers for the family of Chandler Manuel as they mourn the tragic passing of this young man.
Lake Toxaway Charities, wishes to convey our deep appreciation for the selfless work of our first responders. We are humbled by their devotion to our community, we mourn with our rescue family, and with gratitude honor their service. This is a heart-wrenching loss for our community