A Rutherford County man and his two sons found themselves in a distressed situation on Percy Priest Lake around 7 p.m. Friday evening. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Metro Fire Department were called to the scene of a boating accident near 7 Points Marina around 8:30 p m.
Brian Larry Pike planned on using a boat to arrive at a church group outing in Long Hunter State Park. He and his sons, ages 16 and 9, left 7 Points Marina at 7:15 p.m. A short time later, wind and waves became too strong for their boat and it capsized leaving the Pikes in the water several hundred yards from shore. All three were wearing personal floatation devices (PFD’s).
Pike’s older son swam toward a light on the shore where a bank fisherman assisted in making the 9-1-1 call for help, while Mr. Pike and his 9-year-old made it to the opposite shore.
The stranded boaters were in the frigid water for over an hour. Pike and his 16-year-old were transported to Summit Medical Center and the 9-year-old went to Vanderbilt Pediatric Hospital.
“We are fortunate that this situation turned out the way it did,” said TWRA Capt. Dale Grandstaff. “Wintertime boating carries greater risks than boating in warmer weather, especially if you enter the water. There is the threat of hypothermia and cold water can affect your ability to function normally. Thankfully these boaters were knowledgeable about wearing PFD’s and had them on at the time of the accident, which probably saved their lives.”