McMinnville man dies after kayaking accident

CROSSVILLE (WATE) – A Mcminnville man died after a kayaking accident on the Collins River, Sunday morning.

Ernest Lee Wade, 59, left with a friend for a kayak trip at 8 a.m. this morning. After an hour and a half on the water, Wade’s friend noticed Wade strike a small overhanging tree. Wade, who was in a sit-a-top kayak, flipped and struggled to swim. Wade was not wearing a personal flotation device and neither man had one with them during their outing. After searching for some time, Wade’s friend called 911 from a nearby home.

The Warren County Sherriff’s Office received the call around 8:45 a.m. and TWRA was dispatched around 9:15 a.m. Warren County Rescue also responded to the call and located Wade in six to eight feet of water around 3:45 p.m. Wade’s body was taken to the Warren County Morgue.

Because of recent rains, water levels were elevated two to three feet above normal. Swift moving currents and murky water made recovery efforts more difficult.

TWRA Warren County Officer, Pete Geesling responded to the call. Geesling stated, “It is always difficult to see the loss of a life. We can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a personal flotation device and checking conditions before heading out. Our thoughts are with Wade’s family.” There were four paddle-sport related deaths in 2016.


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