Search for missing boaters on Pickwick Lake resumes this morning

HARDIN COUNTY — The search for two 15-year-olds and a 43 year-old-man missing on a Mid-South lake will resume Tuesday morning, officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said.

The search was suspended Monday at dusk due to hazardous water conditions.

FOX13 spoke to Tim Watkins of the Obion School District who said the missing boaters are reportedly team members of the Obion County Central High School Fishing team. The fishermen were in Hardin County on Saturday for a fishing tournament.

Two of them are students and the third is one of their fathers, a chaperone, Watkins said.

Watkins said he has been told their boat was having engine trouble before the start of the competition and they did not leave the dock with the rest of the competitors. It was believed they took the boat out of the water and went home, but it was later determined they went ahead and attempted to compete.

The boat was found below the dam at the Pickwick and looked to be sucked under the dam.

Tiffini Moore lives in Hardin County near Pickwick Landing State Park. She watched as the search efforts continued.

“I wish the family the best,” Moore said. “I hope they find them.”

FOX13 learned from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency that the boat was found in the Tennessee River, 14-miles from where they launched.

The boat was sucked through the dam’s spillway and into the river below. The boaters were not in the boat when it was found.

Amy Spencer, from the TWRA, said crews have been hard at work.

“Our crews searched Pickwick Lake last night and they started searching on the Tennessee River side,” Spencer said. “The search is very extensive. We have a large area that we are trying to cover.”

The TWRA asked volunteers not to get involved in the search at this time.

“We have had a tremendous outpouring of people that want to help, and we understand you are concerned,” Spencer said. “But due to the current river level and the way the water is moving we are asking volunteers to stand down and leave it to the professionals."

Moore said volunteers should be able to help.

“I know they are worried about others getting involved and maybe something happening to them, but how could anyone let them be out there alone if they need help,” Moore said. “I don't see how they could stop someone from helping.”

FOX13 will continue to cover this story and give up-to-date information when it becomes available.