CLINTON—Two wildlife officers from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency went into rescue mode late this evening, bringing a happy ending to what could have turned into a sad story, authorities said.
At around 5 p.m. Tuesday, Steve and Connie Hunter of Ten Mile, Tennessee, were enjoying a kayak float with their sons down the Clinch River near the Second Baptist Church in Clinton when both were capsized into 45 degree water. Their sons attempted to stay with them, but the strong current forced them downstream where they made it to shore and dialed 911.
TWRA Sergeant Roy Smith and Officer Jeff Roberson responded to the accident alongside Anderson County Rescue Squad, Clinton Police Department, and Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.
At around 5:20 p.m., Smith and Roberson located the Hunters clinging to a log overhanging the river. The officers brought the subjects into their patrol boat and transported them to shore where they were assessed by Anderson County EMS and released.
Their sons were located about a mile downstream of where their parents were rescued.
“Because the water was so frigid and only one of them had on a life jacket, this was nearly another fatal boating incident,” says TWRA Information and Education Coordinator Matthew Cameron. “Last year, national boating accident statistics reveal that 118 people drowned while occupying a canoe or kayak and drowning remains the leading cause of death while boating.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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