Two children drowned in the Tennessee River near Watts Bar Marina in Rhea County on Labor Day.
Rhea County Sheriff's Department Chief John Argo said the victims were a two-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother. They were identified as Brooke and Robert Long. Their mother is Michelle Rex of Maryville,
Chief Argo said the children were playing with their 12-year-old brother and his 12-year-old friend when the tragic incident happened around 3 p.m.
Chief Argo said the children were playing on a piece of styrofoam with metal attached to it near Watts Bar Dam.
He said the four children were on the styrofoam when it flipped over and the metal separated from the styrofoam. The two children who drowned were trapped under the styrofoam.
Chief Argo said they apparently were underwater about five minutes before their older brother flagged down boaters to help retrieve them. The water is about five feet deep at that location.
They were brought up and CPR efforts were started immediately. The children were taken to the nearby Watts Bar Marina where additional CPR was performed as EMS units arrived from Rhea County and Meigs County.
The children were taken by helicopter to a hospital in Knoxville, where they were pronounced dead.
Chief Argo said the brother and sister were children of an assistant restaurant manager at the new Angelo's Italian restaurant at the old Watts Bar Restaurant.