Teen rafter dies on Ocoee

Teen rafter dies on Ocoee

June 19th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

A 14-year-old from Atlanta died today after he fell from a raft on the Ocoee River, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

It's the second rafting death this month.

The boy was with a group of summer campers, said TWRA spokesman Dan Hicks.

The teens were rafting downriver about a half mile north of the Ocoee Whitewater Center at about 1 p.m. when the boy fell overboard and didn't come up.

Others with the group used a boat paddle and found the boy wedged against a rock. Hicks said it's believed an eddy was holding the boy down.

Rescuers administered CPR and took the boy to the Copper Basin Hospital, but he died, Hicks said.

He said state rangers with the Ocoee-Hiwassee Ranger District, the TWRA, the U.S. Forest Service and TVA are conducting a joint investigation.

On June 5, an Arlington, Tenn., man died after his raft capsized, records show. Other rafters were able to get back in the craft but the man was found floating face-down farther downriver.

Before that, the most recent fatality to a rafting customer was 1995, records show.