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TWRA: 3-year-old boy dies after falling out of boat

There have been 15 boating related fatalities in Tennessee this year

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 3-year-old boy is dead after falling from a boat on Tellico Lake, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. 

Late Friday night just before midnight, TWRA officers and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office responded to a call regarding CPR in progress for a 3-year-old child, the TWRA said. 

The child was transported to Sweetwater Hospital where he later died, according to the TWRA. 

Two adults from Madisonville and two juveniles were traveling from Sequoyah Landing Marina to Razor Landing, according to TWRA. 

The TWRA said when preparing their boat for anchoring, one of the adults realized the three-year-old was missing. The adults immediately started calling and look for the child. Others in the area heard the calls and came to help.

The child was found unresponsive in five feet of water, according to the TWRA. 

The incident remains under investigation.

The TWRA said an autopsy will be performed by the Knoxville Forensic Center and that the child was not wearing a lifejacket. 

"Children should have their life jacket on at all times... in the boat, on the dock," Knoxville swim instructor Camilla Hephner said. "Puddle jumpers do not take the place of life jackets."

Even if your child is a good swimmer, she said accidents still happen in open water, which is why it's important to have a lifejacket just in case the unexpected were to happen.

"You just don't know what could happen. Somebody could slip in and hit their head, the water could be too deep, or they could be caught off guard," she said.

To keep kids safe, she encourages parents to keep a close eye on their children. 

"Kids are sneaky. They will take it off, ya know, so somebody should be watching the kids at all times. That goes for the pool or lake."