TWRA officers are investigating a boating incident that took place on Fort Loudoun Lake Saturday afternoon that resulted in the deaths of two people.
TWRA Sgt. Roy Smith reports that sometime around 4:30 p.m., a pontoon boat being operated by a 70-year-old Terrance Andrew Dea, traveling upstream in the Little River portion of Fort Loudoun Lake near Alcoa Highway, was passed by a personal watercraft operated by 18-year-old, Emma Renee Fila.
A few minutes later, the pontoon boat came upon the PWC and the female operator floating face down in the water after the PWC had apparently collided with a concrete railroad bridge support. The pontoon boat’s operator jumped into the water to rescue the PWC operator but was incapacitated by a medical emergency. Bystanders on another boat pulled both victims from the water and administered CPR.
However, neither survived.
Ms. Fila, who was operating the PWC, was wearing a lifejacket and the ignition safety switch lanyard as required by law. Terrance Andrew Dea, the pontoon boat operator, was not wearing a lifejacket.
TWRA offers prayers and condolences for the victim’s families and would like to thank the Knoxville Police Department, Knox County Fire and Rescue, and AMR emergency medical services for their assistance.
The incident is under investigation.