Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has identified a man that jumped from a pontoon boat and never resurfaced as Roy McClenney Jr., 71. McClenney is from Norris, according to TWRA.
McClenney’s body was found by rescue teams Friday evening in a cove near Sugar Camp Lane in Maynardville.
MAYNARDVILLE (WATE) – Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said they were able to recover the body of a missing 71-year-old man from Anderson County.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said the man’s body was found at around 6:40 p.m. Monday in a cove near Sugar Camp Lane in Maynardville. Matt Cameron with TWRA said rescue crews were able to use a remote operation vehicle, equipped with sonar and video cameras, to locate the man’s body in about 46 feet of water.
Cameron said the man jumped off of a pontoon boat at around noon Monday and never resurfaced. “He was with a group of friends and the boat was anchored, so he left voluntarily, but unfortunately he didn’t come back up,” he said.
Once the remote operated vehicle was able to locate the man’s body, divers from the Knoxville Rescue Squad were able to bring his body to the surface. TWRA said they are coordinating an autopsy and the incident remains under investigation. Cameron said TWRA is working on locating the man’s family and next of kin.
The man wasn’t wearing a life jacket, according to Cameron. He said state-wide Tennessee has had 18 fatal boating incidents this year and at least 15 of those deaths were drownings.
“A life jacket is not going to guarantee that you won’t drown, but it is still by far your number one defense against drowning on a lake is just having a life jacket on,” said Cameron. “Make sure it is in good condition and if you choose to jump into the lake it is probably going to float you and if you have some sort of medical issue or some sort of injury at least you’ll have a fighting change of getting rescued.”
Since acquiring the remote operated vehicle a few years ago, Cameron said TWRA has used the device to locate approximately 27 boating incident victims. TWRA was able to receive a grant from the Port of Nashville to help pay for the device.
“We only have one state-wide, so whenever there is an incident from Memphis to Mountain City that thing has to make its way there and there is only a couple of guys who are trained enough to use that thing,” said Cameron.
The device is very sensitive and creates a photo-like image, according to Cameron.
“The most important thing is bringing closure to the victim’s families as soon as possible,” said Cameron. “You know sometimes these missing victim searches can go for days and over a week and that is really hard on a grieving family when there loved one has been gone that long, so the quicker we can find them, the better off to their friends and their family.”