Sources say one man has died as a result of the accident.
An unfortunate boating accident occurred this past Saturday in Lenoir City, about 30 minutes from Knoxville, TN that left one man dead and two others injured. According to Knox News, three North Carolina men were out on their fishing boat around 10:00 a.m. in the Tennessee River when their boat was forced under water. Apparently, the fishing boat was pulled into the water that was being discharged from Fort Loudoun Dam. As the boat got closer to the dam, it “capsized and was forced under by the falling water.” All three men went overboard.
Although the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency indicated that the men were believed to be wearing life jackets, the pressure of the water tore some of them off. Luckily, there were some fisherman nearby who were able to assist the men and managed to pull all of them into their boats. The source indicated that at least one of the men was hospitalized, but sadly, 23-year-old A.J. Re’ of Denver did not survive. The boat operator who was later identified as 49-year-old Donald McCorkle, as well as 22-year-old Clint McCorkle, did, however, survive the tragic accident.
The boat later resurfaced, and the source said that the accident occurred just days after heavy rainfall which contributed to Tennessee’s waterways becoming more “treacherous.”
Dangers of Low Head Dams
Apparently, this water-related accident isn’t the only one that has been caused by a dam in Tennessee. Just a few days ago, one man was pulled from the low-head dam at Perry’s Mill Dam and was pronounced dead at the hospital. While many of these low-head dams might appear to be “peaceful,” a former University of Tennessee professor says that are “death traps.” The late Bruce Tschantz was interviewed last year and said that “low-head dams kill approximately 24 fisherman, rafters, and boaters in the U.S. every year” [Source: Knox News].
Tschantz highlighted a number of different ways in which these dams can kill people which include:
If you plan on going out fishing or for a leisure boat ride, steer clear of dams and any other potentially dangerous areas to avoid an accident.
- The recirculating waters will trap even the most experienced swimmers (including would-be rescuers) and disorient them in the thrashing water as if they are in a washing machine.
- The water has low buoyancy due to all of the air bubbles making life jackets all but useless.
- The water pushes, pulls and dips individuals in an infinite number of ways where rocks, rebar, concrete and other debris from the river are waiting.
- The rivers and streams are filled with cold water and can lead to hypothermia even in the summer.
- The dams are usually made of vertical concrete or masonry, which make climbing out nearly impossible.
We can see just how deadly these dams can be to those who might be swimming in waters nearby to them or even fishing in close proximity to them. So, if you plan to spend your summer outdoors and in the water, be sure you are familiar with the route you are taking and avoid getting too close to areas that could pose as a threat to you and those who are with you.
If a boating or any other type of accident recently occurred in TN that left you or a loved one injured, perhaps you might consider consulting with a Knoxville, TN accident attorney as you may be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering you have had to endure. USAttorneys.com works with some of the most experienced accident lawyers in Knoxville and would be happy to connect you with one of these professionals who can help you determine whether your accident entitles you to any compensation.