3rd body found on Tennessee River in missing boaters search

Published 8:52 am Monday, March 16, 2020

SAVANNAH (AP) — A third body was found Thursday in the Tennessee River during a search for boaters who went missing while participating in a fishing tournament, authorities said.

The body was found by the Hardin County Fire Department near Shiloh National Military Park, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said in a news release.

Two other bodies were found Tuesday and Wednesday, roughly in the same area near Savannah, the agency said. All three bodies have been sent to a medical examiner for autopsies and identification.

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Crews had searched the river since two 15-year-old boys and a 43-year-old man who were participating in a weekend 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 near Savannah.

The bodies were found about 9 miles from the dam, the wildlife agency said.

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 concentrated their search for the missing boaters on a 14-mile (22-kilometer) stretch of the river.

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.