Skip to main content

Towed by runaway boat

JUNE 26 -- Two people on an inner tube being pulled behind a boat needed rescuing last week on Tennessee’s NickajackLake when the people who were operating the boat fell overboard.

The boat was running at full throttle and began traveling in tight circles, according to a report on the Chattanoogan , a news Web site. Mike Bailey, an officer with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency who was patrolling the lake, noticed the crewless boat and the people being pulled behind it. Aboard a TWRA vessel, Bailey approached the runaway boat and tried to use a line to foul the prop, but was unsuccessful.

With the two people on the inner tube unable to let go for fear of being hit, Bailey decided to ram the boat with his own vessel. He managed to reach in and turn off its engine, the report says. No one was injured in the incident, according to the report, and there was only minimal damage to the runaway boat.

The runaway boat was equipped with a kill switch but the operator was not wearing the strap, says Dan Hicks, a TWRA spokesperson. “That’s the lesson to be learned in this case,” Hicks says in the news report. “If the driver had been wearing the kill switch all of this could have been avoided.”

-- Jason Fell