Two killed when boat capsizes near Pickwick Dam

SECOND UPDATE, APRIL 26-- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency tonight identified the victims as Casey Cox, 32, and Michael Ray Terry, 69, both of Chester County, Tennessee. TWRA said in a statement that it is believed the accident occurred around 11 a.m., "but it was awhile before the flat-bottom style aluminum boat was noticed and rescue workers/TWRA notified."

The boat was sucked through the spillway portion of the dam on the lake side. The tailwater was spilling, generators were running and there was "lots of turbulent water," TWRA said.

The bodies were recovered several miles downstream.

UPDATE, APRIL 26-- Hardin County Fire Chief Melvin Martin said tonight that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says the boat and its fishermen occupants were swept over the spillway. The fatal incident was recorded on a security camera at the dam.

APRIL  26– Two died today when a boat capsized at about 1 p.m. on the swift-flowing Tennessee River just downstream of Pickwick Dam.

Initial reports are that TVA notified Hardin County E911 of the capsized boat, and a boater called 911 to report it was near the former Botel restaurant around 10 minutes later.

Reports the boat passed through the spillway at the dam are unconfirmed.

Both the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Hardin County Fire Department had several rescue boats in the water. Hardin County Sheriff Sammy Davidson said at about 4 pm. that TWRA was heading the recovery, and that at this time they were considering the incident a “boating accident.”

 Hardin County District 3 (Counce) firefighters recovered the first body, which was wearing a life vest, just before 3 p.m. in the area off Riverside Drive adjacent to Shiloh National Military Park. The second body was recovered around 4 p.m. 

According to Counce Fire Chief Richard Childers, both victims were male. Names have not been released pending notification of families.

TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler said his information indicates the boat capsized below the dam.

“Our primary concern is the safety of the public. TVA Police is working with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and TWRA as they investigate. 

“For your safety we urge the public to stay away from the dam and shorelines. Due to the high water levels and flood risks, fixed dock owners should consider moving boats out from under dock roofs and remove anything that might float away,” Fiedler said.


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