UPDATE: The TWRA released the identities of the two individuals as Terrance Andrew Dea, 70, who attempted to rescue the driver of the personal watercraft, Emma Renee Fila, 18.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — TWRA wildlife officers are investigating a fatal boating accident on Fort Loudoun Lake that resulting in two deaths.
TWRA Sgt. Roy Smith reports that on Saturday, June 5, around 4:30 p.m., a pontoon boat was traveling upstream in the Little River portion of Fort Loudoun Lake near Alcoa Highway. The 70-year-old operator was passed by a personal watercraft with an 18-year-old female operator.
According to Smith, a few minutes later the pontoon boat operator came across the 18-year-old floating face down in the water after the PWC had apparently collided with a concrete railroad bridge support. He says the pontoon boat’s operator jumped into the water in a rescue attempt but was incapacitated due to a medical emergency. Bystanders from another boat pulled both from the water and administered CPR, however, neither survived according to TWRA.
TWRA reports that the PWC operator was wearing a lifejacket and the ignition safety switch lanyard as required by law, while the pontoon boat operator was not wearing a lifejacket.
Officials are withholding identities until tomorrow out of respect for the victims. Knoxville Police Dept., Knox Co. Fire and Rescue, and AMR emergency medical services assisted with this incident.