Sammy Bilyeu, a 53-year-old Gainesboro man, lost his life on Wednesday at the Dale Hollow Reservoir.
He was traveling on a personal water craft (PWC) along with two companions on a second PWC left Horse Creek Dock around noon.
The trio stopped for lunch at Willow Grove Dock and resumed lake travel around 4:30 p.m. North of Mitchell Creek. Mr. Bilyeu was traveling about 75 yards in front of the second PWC when he crossed the wake of a ski boat. He was thrown from the PWC. Upon the arrival of the second PWC, he could not be located.
Investigators determined Mr. Bilyeu was improperly using a life jacket. His body has not been recovered. Rescuers included the Clay County Sherriff’s Office, Clay County Rescue and TWRA. TWRA officers utilized side scan, without success due to a water depths of 130 feet. The search was called off due to water depths and darkness. Recovery efforts resumed on Thursday.
The incident remains under investigation.