TWRA: Boater drowns despite rescue effort by witnesses

A boating accident has claimed the life of a Knoxville man on Douglas Lake in Dandridge.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig, the drowning was reported at 9:44 am at the Inspiration Point Boat Dock in the Muddy Creek area.

TWRA identified the victim as James Edward Arnett III, 67, of Knoxville.

Witnesses said Arnett's boat fell off the trailer as it was being launched. Arnett went into the water after it, but didn't make it back out. Witnesses believed he may have slipped on some rocks about twenty feet out and then gone under where the lake depth drops off.

Dandridge Fire Chief Andrew Riley said there were a lot of people at the boat dock who tried to assist Arnett. One boater was able to mark the location where Arnett entered the water with a sonar unit, and people on a pontoon boat actually recovered the body.

The Jefferson County Rescue Squad, Jefferson County EMS, and Dandridge Fire Department were called to the scene.

TWRA said one rescuer, JD Clevenger, a member of the Jefferson County Rescue Squad, was in the water assisting with the recovery and was admitted into the hospital after ingesting water.

More: Jefferson County family saves lives together


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