Deadly boat accident near Ft. Loudoun Dam Saturday
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. —
TWRA is investigating a fatal boating accident that happened on the Tennessee River below Ft. Loudoun Dam Saturday morning where three men went overboard into treacherous waters. Two of the victims have been taken to the hospital and one has been confirmed dead.
Sometime after 10:00 a.m., a 22-foot fishing boat carrying three men from North Carolina overturned after it was pulled into water that was being discharged from the dam. Witnesses say that the boat appeared to be attempting to reach an area towards the middle of the dam where only one floodgate out of eleven was not spilling water. As the boat got too close, it was pulled into the falling water and forced under sending all three occupants overboard.
Several nearby fishermen saw the incident and were able to retrieve all three men into their boats. At this time, it is believed that all three fishermen were wearing personal floatation devices but because of the force of the water, some of the PFDs were torn off in the incident.
The TWRA identified the man who died as A.J. Re' of Denver, NC. Donald and Clint McCorkle were injured.
Due to recent heavy rainfall, many of Tennessee’s waterways are very treacherous with high volumes of flowing water and spill gates, also called flood gates, are open at most TVA dams. The hydraulics beneath spill gates will actually pull boats toward the falling water rather than forcing them downstream.
Please exercise extreme caution when boating in moving water, especially where water is being discharged from floodgates and spillways... or just stay away.