Dale Hollow boating fatality

Published 4:23 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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CROSSVILLE – TWRA and other first responders recovered the body of a missing kayaker on Dale Hollow Reservoir. Benjamin Thomen was reported missing at around 7:30 p.m. yesterday, April 1. He was observed by an angler near Goat Island around 2:30 p.m.
The 31-year-old male, an Overton County resident, was camping with three others at a campsite on one of the islands. He was last seen by those in his party when he left to paddle to the Willow Grove Marina for supplies. Thomen did not return to the campground, causing those in his party to inquire at the marina.
TWRA, along with Clay County EMA, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, THP and TEMA responded for the search operation. Teams conducted a perimeter search and used thermal imaging into the night of April 1, with the search suspended due to safety concerns. Search operations resumed at 7 a.m. on April 2, with teams assigned to the shoreline and banks covering a large area. Side-scanning sonar and a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) were utilized, as well as the THP helicopter. At approximately 9 a.m. Thomen’s kayak was found.
Thomen’s body was located using the ROV in 13 feet of water, near Big Goat Island and was recovered just before 5 p.m. Thomen’s body was transported for medical examination. Thomen was not wearing a life jacket. This is the sixth boating fatality this year. The incident remains under investigation.

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