Rescuers rush to Cherokee Lake 'boating accident' that didn't happen

Jeff Bobo • Jun 26, 2018 at 4:36 PM

MOORESBURG — What was originally dispatched as a Cherokee Lake drowning, and then a boating accident, actually was neither.

Hawkins County EMA Director Gary Murrell told the Times News that a boat containing five passengers died in the water near Park Place Lakeside Campground on the far west end of Hawkins County near Mooresburg.

The five occupants reportedly included some young adults and children who reportedly got scared when a severe thunderstorm hit Mooresburg around 4:15 p.m. 

Murrell said two children swam to shore. He wasn’t sure if the other three stayed on the boat, but they were rescued by a fisherman.

At 4:15 p.m., Hawkins County Central Dispatch sent volunteer firefighters from Lakeview and Striggersville to a report of a”drowning” and possible boating accident in the area of Park Place Lakeside Campground at 673 County Line Road near the Dean Road intersection.

“They got hit with a very severe storm, and the hail was so heavy the two who swam to shore couldn’t see what had happened to the other three,” Murrell said. “Initially we got a call that there were some still in the water, and we had to anticipate the worst and immediately get a lot of resources headed in that direction.”  

By 4:40 p.m., however, rescuers were reporting that all five boaters were accounted for and called off other rescue agencies that were en route.

“They couldn’t get their boat started, and they got scared by the storm, but fortunately everybody got to shore OK,” Murrell said.


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