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Emergency responders are pictured at a scene in Rhea County where a man died while paddling on Richland Creek.

UPDATE at 10:55 p.m.: The paddler who died while kayaking in Richland Creek has been identified as Andrew Gamble, 31, of Hamilton County.

The experienced paddler was kayaking with two friends on a whitewater trip near Laurel-Snow State Natural Area in Rhea County when he got caught under a log. 

The friends attempted to rescue Gamble. However, rescue and eventual recovery efforts were difficult due to the fast-moving water and rough terrain, according to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The Rhea County Sheriff's Office received a 9-1-1 call for the incident shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday. TWRA, Rhea County Emergency Management and Tennessee State Parks assisted in the recovery. 

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ORIGINAL: A kayaker died Sunday afternoon while paddling on Richland Creek in Rhea County, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Recovery operations are underway to remove the body from the creek near Back Valley Road. The paddler has been identified as a 31-year-old man from Hamilton County, according to the agency. His name is being withheld until next of kin is notified.

The man was paddling on a point-to-point whitewater trip with two others after recent heavy rains. He was trapped under a log. The two other paddlers tried to rescue the victim but were unsuccessful.

The man was wearing a life jacket.

The Rhea County Sheriff's Office received the report of the flipped kayak shortly after 2 p.m.

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