Bodies believed to be missing boaters found in Tennessee

Published 8:31 am Friday, March 13, 2020

SAVANNAH (AP) — Searchers have recovered two bodies believed to be boaters who went missing after participating in a fishing tournament last month, Tennessee’s wildlife agency said.

One body was found Tuesday near Shiloh National Military Park on the Tennessee River near Savannah, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency said in a news release. The second body was recovered nearby on Wednesday, the agency said.

Both bodies have been sent to a medical examiner for autopsies and identification.

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Crews have searched for 18 days since two 15-year-old boys and a 43-year-old man who were participating in a bass fishing tournament at Pickwick Lake were reported missing Feb. 23.

Their damaged 20-foot (6-meter) bass boat was found the next day on the Tennessee River below Pickwick Dam.

Lakes, rivers and streams throughout West Tennessee had seen very high water levels and strong currents due to heavy rains in February. Agency rescue crews and volunteers have concentrated their search for the missing boaters on a 14-mile (22-kilometer) stretch of the river.

The third boater remains missing. Obion County Director of Schools Tim Watkins has told news outlets that the boaters were part of a high school fishing team and had been on the water for the weekend tournament.