DENTITIES OF TWO FISHERMEN SERIOUSLY
INJURED BELOW FT. LOUDOUN DAM RELEASED
LENOIR CITY, Tenn.—TWRA is releasing the identities of the two fishermen seriously injured when their boat capsized below Ft. Loudoun Dam earlier this morning.
James Rich, 72, of Waynesville, N.C. has been treated and released from Ft. Loudoun Medical Center while Ronald Greene, 57, of Clyde, N.C. is still in critical condition at UT Medical Center.
Wildlife officers say the men were fishing below Ft. Loudoun dam when their boat was overturned by falling water from a spill gate. Both men were wearing personal flotation devices when they were ejected into the turbulent water, yet only one man was still wearing his when they were recovered by local fishing guides who witnessed the incident. It is believed that the PFD was torn from his body by the turbulent water.
This accident is eerily similar to one that happened on June 2 of last year when a fishing boat carrying three men from North Carolina was pulled under by a spill gate below Ft. Loudoun dam. A 23-year-old man drowned in that incident and and two others were sent to the hospital. Amazingly, the same fishing guides, Verge “Bucky” Motz and Steve Duncan, rescued the victims of both last summer’s incident and the one that occurred today. TWRA is grateful to Captain Motz and Captain Duncan for their heroic acts. Because of their bravery and boating skills, several lives have been saved in these treacherous waters.
Unfortunately, these types of incidents are becoming more common. Loudon County Wildlife Officer Anthony Chitwood says, “Since this tailwater is becoming a more popular destination for quality fishing, I’m seeing more risk taking now more than ever. I have seen as many as fifteen boats run up in the whitewater at one time.” In his fifteen years as a wildlife officer in this area, Officer Chitwood had only worked one boating incident where a boat had been sucked into a spillway. Since June 2 of last year, he’s worked three such incidents, with the other occurring below Melton Hill Dam. After discussing the issue with the district attorney’s office, Officer Chitwood has begun issuing citations for reckless operation for any boat fishing above the whitewater created by the spill gates. Just last night, he spent several hours on his public address system telling boats to move out of the turbulent waters and even issued citations to boaters fishing in the whitewater too close to the dam. “It’s either issue citations for reckless operation or investigate fatal and serious injury boating incidents every night. People have to also understand that there aren’t only drownings, but serious injuries such as abrasions, broken bones and lacerations.”
TWO FISHERMEN SERIOSULY INJURED WHEN BOAT OVERTURNS BELOW FT. LOUDOUN DAM
LENOIR CITY, Tenn.—TWRA is investigating an incident where two fishermen have been seriously injured when their boat capsized below Ft. Loudoun Dam earlier this morning. One man is considered to be in critical condition.
Wildlife officers say that two men from the Maggie Valley area of North Carolina were fishing below Ft. Loudoun dam when their boat was overturned by falling water from a spill gate. Both men were wearing personal flotation devices when they were ejected into the turbulent water, yet only one man was still wearing his when they were recovered by local fishing guides who witnessed the incident.
One man was taken to Ft. Loudoun Medical Center in serious condition and the other was airlifted to UT Medical Center in critical condition.
The incident is under investigation by TWRA.