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Missing Family Found Safe in Swampy South Carolina Park

A father and his two children lost for three days in a swampy South Carolina national park have been found safe.

J.R. Kimbler, his daughter, Jade, 6, and his son, Dakota, 10, were located by a Congaree National Park ranger Tuesday morning before sunrise, NBC affiliate WIS reported.

All three were taken to a local hospital. According to park officials, they were all in stable condition.

Kimbler, 43, and his children left Harry Hampton Visitor Center for a hike on Saturday evening. Their last contact was a text message Kimbler sent to a friend at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Kimbler told the friend that he was lost — and the friend quickly reached out to the mother of Kimbler's kids, who alerted park rangers.

J.R. Kimbler is loaded into an ambulance Tuesday morning after he and his two kids were rescued in Congaree National Park.
J.R. Kimbler is loaded into an ambulance Tuesday morning after he and his two kids were rescued in Congaree National Park. National Park Service via WIS TV

The trio was found two miles from the visitor center, WIS reported.

Congaree National Park is a 27,000-acre park within a floodplain formed by the Congaree and Wateree rivers.

— Patrick Garrity and Daniel Arkin