Tennessee on track for record-setting year in boating fatalities

Boating fatalities in 2022 already tied for fourth-highest since 2001

Contributed photo by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency / Emergency crews look for the body of a 57-year-old Dalton, Georgia, on Parksville Lake on Monday, August 15, 2022, in Polk County, Tenn.

The death Monday of a man on Parksville Lake in Polk County marks Tennessee's 24th boating fatality of the year - quickly surpassing 2021's total of 21 fatalities and tying the fourth-most deadly boating incidents in a single year since 2001.

And it's still August.

Authorities discovered the unoccupied boat of 57-year-old Billy Calhoun, of Dalton, Georgia, going in circles Monday afternoon near the East Parksville boat ramp where the man had gone boating alone, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokeswoman Mime Barnes said Monday in a news release.

Barnes said TWRA officers confirmed Calhoun was not wearing a kill switch or a life jacket. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Already, boating fatalities in 2022 have tied for fourth-most since 2001 behind 2004 and 2020, both of which are tied at 31, records show.