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.


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming events and news from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event *Downtown Kayak Adventure  July 25 Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a beginner friendly  kayak tour of downtown Chattanooga on the Tennessee River. Our guide staff will provide basic instruction, then lead a leisurely paddle from the north shore around ... (click for more)

3 Rivers Longbeards NWTF Chapter To Host Youth Event On Aug. 8 At TWRA Office In Morristown

Young people ages five to 17 and their parents or guardians are invited to enjoy a day of outdoor fun at the TWRA Region IV Office in Morristown on  Aug. 8,  from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Three Rivers Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) will host the Allen Ricks Memorial JAKES Day event. Allen Ricks was the TWRA  Region IV Information ... (click for more)

Thousands Line Route For Funeral Procession Of Sailor Slain In Chattanooga Shooting; Wife Sings Song At Funeral She Was Singing When They Met

Thousands of people waving flags and signs again lined the streets and highways of Chattanooga for the second of two local funerals for military personnel slain by a gunman on July 16. And at the funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith, his wife, Angie, sang the song she was singing the first time they met. She said she was singing "You say it best when ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Declared He Was "An Innocent Man" On Child Pornography Charges Gets Conviction, 24-Year Sentence Overturned

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a Chattanooga man who claimed at his trial and sentencing that he was wrongfully convicted by a jury of possession and distribution of child pornography. James Paul Lowe had been sentenced in May to serve 24 years in federal prison. After the sentencing, he had bid his family goodbye and told them to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chanie's Puzzling Poem

Ronnie Joice was in a bar in north London when he spied a poem tacked to the wall. The more he studied it, the more it revealed and, suddenly, he was floored. I don’t need to tell you it has gone viral, cheering people up particularly in England, but it is fun to know it was written by an 11 th -grader at an all-girls school in New York. Chanie Gorkin first posted it on her page ... (click for more)