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.


First-ever Reserves Established To Protect Brazil's Araripe Manakin

The first-ever bird reserves have been created for the critically-endangered Araripe Manakin, a six-inch bird only discovered in 1996 that numbers fewer than 800 individuals and survives in the smallest of areas – 11 square miles – in northeastern Brazil. The reserves were made possible by the purchase of one parcel of land encompassing 140 acres and through a formal agreement ... (click for more)

Dayton Given $189,000 In Parks Grant

The city of Dayton was presented with a $189,000 Local Park and Recreation Program Fund grant for Cedar Point Park and Point Park Walking Track on Thursday in Nashville.  (click for more)

Erlanger Board Chairman Says Law Firm Okays Process For Approving $1.7 Million In Manager Bonuses

Erlanger Board Chairman Donnie Hutcherson said Tuesday night that a law firm has approved the process used by the board to award $1.7 million in manager bonuses. The board had held up on awarding the bonuses until a review of the process could be carried out. The bonuses were not discussed at the regular board meeting, but at a private dinner session where the board talks ... (click for more)

City Council Approves On 1st Reading Uber App-Dispatched Transit Service After Lengthy Debate

The City Council on Tuesday night, after lengthy debate and study, approved on first reading regulations for App-dispatched transit services like the popular Uber. The ordinance, sponsored by Ken Smith and Chris Anderson, also makes changes in rules for conventional taxi companies. In favor were Council members Smith, Anderson, Carol Berz, Jerry Mitchell, Larry Grohn and Chip ... (click for more)

A Letter To The NAACP

I believe when a "unarmed" man is evil, he will try to beat a police officer on his head in hopes to knock him out, in hopes to kill him. We saw the bruises on the officer's face.  This evil force tried to take his gun away from him , Proof was in the autopsy.  Why did Michael Brown  try to take his gun away from him? Exactly, to kill the officer.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Advice: Just Be Normal

Matthew Kerlin, by his own admission, claims to be just a normal guy. But I am of the opinion, after reading his speech following Samford University’s Winter Commencement exercises, that the university’s Assistant Dean for Spiritual Life is a bit more than that. Dr. Kerlin knows college kids well and his advice to the most recent flock of America’s graduates resonates with brilliance. ... (click for more)