Tennessee Fisherman Seriously Injured In Watauga River Boating Accident

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A fisherman from Bluff City was seriously injured after being pinned between a boat and a tree hanging close to the water’s surface on the Watauga River in Washington County last Saturday. 

TWRA Boating Officer Matt Swecker, who is leading the investigation, reported that on Saturday, around 7 p.m., three adult males were fishing a section of the river below Wilbur dam near Herb Hodge Road when the incident occurred. 

The trio was fishing from an 18-foot aluminum jet boat when the trolling motor hit some rocks, breaking the propeller and allowing the boat to drift into the low-lying tree near the water’s surface. The operator became pinned between the tree and the boat as the passengers clung to the tree. The boat eventually washed downstream forcing all three men to enter the frigid water in order to reach safety at the shore. 

The operator was life-flighted from a river bottom field to Johnson City Medical Center with serious injuries. The other two men suffered minor injuries.

Deputies from Washington County Sheriff’s Department responded and rescue squads, firefighters, and EMS members from Washington County, Watauga, and Johnson City provided aid to the victims.

Officer Swecker pointed out that the river is especially hazardous when the dam is generating water and the water temperature is in the 50s, which was the case during Saturday’s incident. Low-lying limbs and trees also create another element of danger along the shoreline.


March 2016 Events At Georgia’s State Parks And Historic Sites

Below is a sample of March events at Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. For more programs, visit  www.GaStateParks.org/events  and the parks’ web pages.   More information on accommodations and recreation can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org  or  1-800-864-7275 .    H idden  G em Ser ies Throughout 2016, ... (click for more)

Permit Application Available For Light Goose Conservation Season

Sportsmen are reminded that a free permit is now required to participate in the 2016 Light Goose Conservation season which will be held Feb. 14-March 10.   The application for the free permit is available on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website. The Light Goose Conservation season is for Blue, Snow and Ross’s geese. The following provisions apply during ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principals Say Part 1 Of TN Ready Testing Should Be Cut Due To Online System Failure

Hamilton County principals are asking that Part 1 of the TN Ready Assessment be dropped this year due to the recent crash of the online system for the program. The principals also asked that any Part 1 TN Ready test results  not be applied to students’ grades or to evaluations and rankings for school personnel and school districts. The local principals also ... (click for more)

Greenholtz Collects $71,641 For Criminal Court Judge Campaign; Little Has $22,850; Patterson $20,134

Judge Tom Greenholtz reported $71,641 received for his campaign to remain as judge of Criminal Court, Division II. He was named by Governor Bill Haslam as the interim replacement for Judge Rebecca Stern, who retired before her term was up. Mike Little had $22,850, and Boyd Patterson received $20,134. Here is the report for Tom Greenholtz: ... (click for more)

Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Even Athletes

From reading Randy Smith's column on the lawsuit against UT it is pretty evident that he never took a legal course in his life. I was under the impression that in this country one was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. It appears this no longer applies to athletes(particularly black athletes) in the U.S. in 2016. I have always said that if I am picked for jury duty ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Warmth For Cold Days

I come across all sorts of warm things every day and as we burrow out of sub-freezing temperatures for a day or two, shaking off ice and snow, allow me to share a few things for a change that may take the bite out of the winter wind. This is what helps me. * * * Judy Bellenfant, who has been a soul mate ever since we shared jokes in high school classrooms, sends along this ... (click for more)