Farragut High student drowns in Fort Loudoun Lake

May 18, 2017: Tennessee wildlife officials say 18-year-old Joshua Armon Davis drowned in the Little Turkey Creek area of Ft. Loudoun Lake near The Cove at Concord Park.

UPDATE, THURSDAY 8:30 a.m.: The 18-year-old who drowned after falling overboard from a boat in Fort Loudoun Lake has been identified as Joshua Armon Davis, of Knoxville. 

TWRA officials said Davis was a student at Farragut High School.

With other seniors at Farragut High already out of school, Knox County Schools administrators have sent calls and emails out to the graduating class to notify them of the tragedy.

It makes the fourth student death at the school in recent months, after several student suicides. 

RELATED: Parents concerned by Knox County Schools suicides

"It's just hard to even wrap your mind around, as a parent, as a grown up, much less as a child," said Knox County Board of Education Representative Susan Horn.

Horn has a sophomore daughter at the school. 

"When I dropped my daughter off at school, there were several students who were gathered together praying and remembering their friend," she said, adding, "Today is a day to remember and to grieve, and to lift these parents up in prayer and just pray for them."

In a statement, Farragut High School Principal Ryan Siebe wrote:

Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh's family during this difficult time. We do have counselors on site to help our students and staff cope. This has been a tough semester for our school, but I've never been more proud of how resilient and caring everyone here has been.  We appreciate all the support we have received from our Farragut and Knox County community.

"This is eerily similar to an incident in the same creek, almost in the same spot last summer," said TWRA officer Matt Cameron. 

Cameron said Davis was with two others in the boat. He was holding a life vest in his hands when he fell into the water and never resurfaced.

Investigators say alcohol was not involved and they do not suspect foul play.

"To see these young folks really about to set out in life.... Their lives are cut short way too early," Cameron said. 

With dozens of families ready to set out on the lakes this weekend, TWRA is issuing a reminder for families to wear life jackets. 

This is the sixth drowning statewide in 2017. Four of the victims were in a boat, one was in a kayak, and another fell out of a canoe.

State officials say three of the victims were not wearing life jackets.

"TWRA offers sincerest prayers and condolences to the family of Mr. Davis, his friends with him at the time of the incident, and his classmates and faculty at Farragut High School," a TWRA spokesperson said. 

TWRA is investigating the incident. An autopsy has been ordered by a medical examiner with the Regional Forensics Center.

UPDATE 10 p.m.:  The TWRA and Knox County rescue crews said they've found the body of the 18-year-old man that drowned at Fort Loudoun Lake in West Knox County.

Crews discovered the body around 9:45 p.m. after searching the lake with a sonar-equipped remote search vehicle.

The victim fell overboard from a boat that was adrift in the Little Turkey Creek area and drowned. Witnesses said he had a personal floatation device in his hand when he fell in, but went under and never resurfaced. 

TWRA said the victim's name is being withheld until tomorrow out of respect for his family. A medical examiner with the Regional Forensics Center ordered and autopsy and TWRA is investigating the incident. 


As of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Knox County Sheriff's Office said crews have shifted from rescue operations into recovery mode to find an 18-year-old man who went underwater.

Authorities have sent in divers to find the man's body in the waters off Northshore. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said its office in Chattanooga sent an investigator with a remote search vehicle equipped with sonar that can continue searching through the night to assist in the recovery.

The drowning was reported about 4:30 p.m. near the Cove at Concord Park off Northshore Drive.

According to Rural/Metro authorities, two people were with the teen in a skiing-type boat and made a call for help. They said the he fell overboard and was drifting in the Little Turkey Creek area.

The witnesses said he had a personal flotation device in his hand when he fell in, but went under and never resurfaced.

Personnel from the Knox County Sheriff's Office and the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad also were on the scene.

A chaplain has been with the teen's family to update them on the search.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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