Body of Tullahoma Man Recovered from Lake

September 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Body of Drowning Victim Recovered from Lake (WJLE Photo)
Photo Taken as Search Began Saturday (Photo by Ken Underhill)
Members of Caney Fork Chapter of American Red Cross

The body of a 27 year old Tullahoma man was recovered from Center Hill Lake Sunday afternoon almost twenty four hours after he jumped off a pontoon boat and drowned on Saturday.

Dead is William Bates.

TWRA Officer Tony Cross told WJLE that Bates' body was recovered in about 90 feet of water near where the incident occurred about a mile from Floating Mill Recreation area.

According to Officer Cross, Bates was with five other men on a pontoon boat going upstream Saturday afternoon when Bates jumped in the water to take a swim as the boat came to a stop. When Bates didn't come back up after going under the water, the others jumped in but were unable to rescue him.

911 was notified and members of the TWRA, DeKalb County Rescue Squad, and U.S Army Corps of Engineers Rangers came to the scene. The search continued non-stop throughout the rest of the day on Saturday, all night, and during the day on Sunday until the body was found. Others participating in the search were members of the White, Putnam, Coffee, and Franklin County Rescue Squads. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and local Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker assisted in the effort.

In addition to dragging operations, divers and sonar equipment aided in the search. In fact, the body was detected by the Franklin County Rescue Squad's tow fish sonar. Divers of the White County Rescue Squad then went down and recovered it.

The body was brought by boat to the Hurricane Bridge Recreation Area and then loaded onto a DeKalb EMS ambulance for transport to the hospital.

Captain Dustin Johnson of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad said he wished to thank all those who supported them in the search and to the Caney Fork Chapter of the American Red Cross, who set up at the Floating Mill Recreation area to provide food and drinks to the emergency personnel and volunteers. Johnson also expressed his thanks to DeKalb Market and Pizza Hut for their donation of food.

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