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.” 



2018 Application Period For Peregrine Falcon Trapping For Falconry Usage To Begin July 1

The 2018 application period for the trapping of a peregrine falcon to be used in falconry will begin July 1, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced. The number of permits to be allowed for the taking of peregrine falcons to be used in falconry has increased from one to five in 2018 as announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The TWRA will award the ... (click for more)

Asian Carp Harvest Incentive Program Planned For Fall 2018

In an effort to combat to the invasive Asian carp species, a commercial harvest incentive program will be developed in the fall of 2018. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s request of $500,000 budget expansion from the Marine Fuel Tax Fund was approved at the May meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission. This will provide two years of funding for the program. ... (click for more)

Former County Mayor, Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey Dies

Former County Mayor and Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey has died after a recent illness. Mr. Ramsey held a number of top government posts after leaving his strawberry farm at Harrison and going into politics. He was a major factor in the development of the Enterprise South Industrial Park and landing Volkswagen as its main tenant. He served in the state legislature and was ... (click for more)

Gerald McCormick Pulls Out Of House Race After Move To Nashville; Greg Martin, Tony Sanders, Robin Smith Eye Post

Former House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick has decided to pull out of the House District 26 race and take a position with an engineering firm in Nashville. Among the top contenders considering the post are County Commissioner Greg Martin, former county Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders and former state GOP Chairman Robin Smith.  Rep. McCormick's wife, Kim, ... (click for more)

Will Chattanooga Miss Another Reinvestment Opportunity?

In April, First Tennessee Bank and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition announced an agreement on a $3.9 billion reinvestment plan for economic development in low to moderate income communities under the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. The Chattanooga Times Free Press soon followed with an article reviewing the plan in depth. The plan presented Chattanooga, as well as ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Are We Like Nazis?

Four years after William Styron’s best-seller ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ had achieved the highest height of an atrocity that the literary world had known at the time, a little girl who was birthed the same year as the book (1979) was cast as Meryl Streep’s daughter in the movie. The four-year-old blonde knew nothing about evil, not to mention the Holocaust, but she became enamored with ... (click for more)