Officials recover body from Boone Lake on Memorial Day


BOONES CREEK, Tenn. (WJHL) – Officials told News Channel 11 that a body was recovered from Boone Lake near Pickens Bridge Monday afternoon.

Washington County EMS Deputy Chief Mike Skowronski told News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais that officials had to deploy a boat off the public ramp on Pickens Bridge Road to reach the deceased who was found near what he said were cliffs on the lakeshore.

Skowronski added that no identification document was found on the body.

Captain Keith Ellis with Washington County EMS also told News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais that he was part of the group of first responders to arrive on the scene after the initial call to 911.

“We had a very steep cliff, I mean, it was almost a sheer facing,” Ellis explained. “We had to set up a small road system to make entry to the water, and of course we had to use dry suits and life jackets and things of that nature, which is what we use for efforts like this.”

He said they swam over to the scene before they knew it was too late to save the man who ended up in the water.

“It was witnessed that he, you know, that he went in the water, I don’t know how or why he went into the water, but some people across the road are the ones that called,” Ellis said. “So, of course, once we got into the water and we got over, we swam over to him, where it was determined that he was deceased.”

Capt. Ellis explained that the Washington County EMS uses a Zodiac boat, similar to what the military uses, for shallow water and close-proximity rescues.

“We launched it from Pickens Bridge and then we made access over to where the decedent was,” he said. “Of course, we were in the water with the decedent, we placed him in our boat, then took him back to Pickens Bridge.”

The ETSU William L. Jenkins Forensic Center medical examiner picked up the investigation from there, Ellis said.

“There was no-one else hurt, no other victims identified,” he added.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was also on scene, he said.

According to TWRA, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

No additional information was immediately available.

This is a developing story. Look for updates on

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