Teen survives 30-foot fall from Overton Co. waterfall - WSMV News 4

Teen survives 30-foot fall from Overton Co. waterfall

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It took a heroic effort to save a teen who fell 30 feet from a waterfall Monday in Overton County.

It's an outdoor spot 16-year-old Jonathan Moore has visited countless times, but this time it nearly cost him his life, as he struck a ledge and several rocks before landing in the water.

Doctors say Moore may walk with a limp for the rest of his life, but the teen said he feels fortunate.

"I guess I just got lucky, you know," he said.

The Waterloo area is a popular spot for people taking pictures, swimming and even climbing up the waterfalls.

That's what Moore was doing before he fell and found himself helpless.

"Maybe I shouldn't have even been down there. It's a dangerous place to be," Moore said.

The teen had been swimming with his cousin near the Waterloo waterfall when he began climbing the rocks. After he slipped, he landed in deep water.

"I could only move my right arm at the time, to keep myself afloat. I thought I was going to drown," he said.

Moore's cousin ran to get help. His mother and a friend were in another area of the park and called 911.

"I didn't think they were going to make it back in time. I kept sinking more and more under," Moore said.

After 30 minutes in the water, they were able to move the teen against a rock to stabilize him as they waited for rescue crews to arrive.

An army of about 50 emergency workers from a half-dozen agencies battled rain, deep water and later, the dark to pull Moore to safety.

With trees as anchors, they used a zipline-like tactic to lift him up and get him across a river. The entire operation took about two hours.

"He had an angel watching over him. That's for sure," said Rhonda Roberts, with Overton County EMS.

Moore was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

He has chipped bones in his hip and bruised legs.

But he is thankful for all those people who helped him when he couldn't help himself.

Moore also said he doesn't plan to go back to the Waterloo falls anytime soon.

Emergency crews warn it can be dangerous. In fact, there have been four water rescues there recently.

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