2 TWRA Officers Ejected Into Water After Boat Hits Apparent Floating Debris

Saturday, May 24, 2014

SPEEDWELL, Tn. -  Because of having worn their life jackets, two TWRA officers are slightly injured but safe after a single-vessel boating accident on Norris Lake last night.

Officers Jerry Short and Harrison Cornett were on patrol of Norris Lake around 10:30 p.m. last night near Blue Springs Dock when they apparently struck a large piece of floating debris.  The impact caused both officers to be ejected from the vessel and into the water.

  Officer Short was able to swim back to the vessel and use the radio to contact the TWRA dispatcher and other wildlife officers for assistance. 

Both officers sustained minor injuries and were transported to Claiborne County Hospital in Tazewell.  They have been treated and released.

The vessel has been recovered and the accident is under investigation by the TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division. 

Statistics show that the majority of people who die in boating accidents drown and the majority of people who drown are not wearing life jackets, officials said.  

TWRA Law Enforcement Major Brian Ripley said,  " The majority of fatalities from boating accidents occur as a result of situations similar to this one: People unexpectedly finding themselves in the water without a life jacket."  

TWRA Investigator George Birdwell stated, “In recent years, TWRA created a policy that all agency employees must wear a life jacket while in a vessel.  However, several years prior to the mandate, law enforcement training personnel demonstrated the importance of wearing life jackets while on duty by subjecting the officers to rigorous training exercises.  This encouraged many officers to voluntarily wear them before the policy was in place.  It made the officers realize that in emergency situations, a life jacket is the only thing that can save their lives.  Also, by our officers wearing their life jackets while on duty promotes the simple fact to Tennessee’s boaters that wearing them saves lives.” 



TWRA Congratulates Tennessee Wildlife Federation On Award

A strong advocate for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been honored with a prestigious national award. The Federation has been named the 2018 Affiliate of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation in recognition of its outstanding achievement in promoting conservation of wildlife and natural resources on the state and national level. ... (click for more)

Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit Makes Return To Clyde M. York 4-H Center

The Ninth Annual Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit will be held for the second year at the Clyde York 4-H Center near Crossville. The 2018 event is scheduled for July 15-20. The summit was established for high school students from across Tennessee. During the week, students are introduced to many outdoor activities. It was held at the Montgomery County Shooting Complex near Clarksville ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Plans Affordable Housing Fund, Expansion Of Innovation District; Creation Of Council Against Extremism

Mayor Andy Berke, in his annual State of the City Address on Thursday, said he plans to establishing the city’s first Affordable Housing Fund. He said the city plans to commit $1 million to the fund "that will be used exclusively to aid the creation of affordable and workforce housing throughout Chattanooga. These funds will be used to supplement federal funding, various ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Was Recently Charged With Murder Is Accused In Another Earlier Shooting

Chattanooga Police have charged Britian Crutcher with the September 2017 shooting of LaSandra Burdette. Ms. Burdette, 26, was shot just after 3 a.m. in the 2000 block of Ocoee Street in Avondale. Her vehicle was involved in a minor wreck just before the shooting. The shooter was in another vehicle. Police recently charged Crutcher in the homicide of 28-year-old ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Teacher's Pay Cut

The Hamilton County School Board will hold a “working session” Thursday afternoon as steps continue to formulate the FY2019 budget and it is a frightening process in a badly-broken system. Everybody knows it is equally embarrassing and after watching teachers who “have had enough” go on strikes in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky this spring, I guarantee you that Tennessee is ... (click for more)