Body of missing fisherman found by good Samaritan

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials were searching for a missing fisherman near Watts Bar Lake, officials with the agency said Thursday.
Crews Search for Missing Fisherman
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:45 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:14 PM CDT
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LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials announced a good Samaritan found the body of a missing fisherman was Friday afternoon, about half a mile downstream from where the boat crashed.

Crews were searching near Watts Bar Lake, officials with the agency said Thursday. In a later update, TWRA officer Matt Cameron said that the operation had transitioned into a body recovery effort.

Cameron identified the missing boater as Jamie Rixie, 57, of Loudon.

According to officials, an overturned boat was reported in the lake around 9 p.m. Wednesday night, which prompted the search. The boat was found just upstream of the Highway 11 Bridge, according to a release from the TWRA, though it is unclear where the fisherman went overboard.

Officials said that, since the boat was submerged, dive teams searched and did not find the fisherman. A boating accident investigator and officers will examine it for damage or other clues as to what contributed to the accident.

WVLT News spoke to a TWRA official on the scene, who said they hope to find the angler washed ashore. They also said that situations like this can be avoided if people on the water pay attention to weather news and wear a life jacket. Officers said that Wednesday’s storm may have contributed to the event.

“It was a bad storm. I was at home when it happened,” TWRA officer Anthony Chitwood said. “And I live not real far from where we’re at right now. High wind, lots of water in a short amount of time and a situation you wouldn’t want to be in a boat in.”

Chitwood also said that every situation like this can be different.

“We’ve had instances where we were looking for them and they weren’t there or they were looking for them and they just didn’t want to be found,” he said. “Who knows what the situation is and obviously pray for the best.”

Cameron said the searchers were looking at the sunken boat for any clues.

“We also hope there’s possibly some electronics on board such as a fishfinder or GPS that might help us locate the victim’s body,” he said.

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