KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A car was found with its lights on, submerged in Norris Lake this morning.
Knox County Rescue Squad got the call to go to Blue Mud Boat Ramp in Big Ridge State Park in the early morning hours. They were able to pull the car out of the water, and fortunately, no one was in the vehicle when emergency crews got there.
It was with the help of sonar equipment from a local boater that helped Knox County Rescue Squad identify the car and pull it out of the water.
“Some boaters had seen the car in the water along with the headlights on and so we didn’t know at that point if somebody was inside the vehicle but there was nobody onshore,” explained Battalion Chief T.J. Giles with Knox Co. Rescue.
When they got there, they had determined whether this was a rescue or a recovery. In this case, it was a recovery operation.
Giles said, “we had two divers enter the water, and locate the vehicle about 50 feet offshore.”
No one was in or around the car. The next step was to get the SUV out of the water.
“We have a com system where the divers, they have a microphone and it’s through a, it looks like a rope but it’s basically a line that connects to the headset for the person onshore. We can communicate verbally with them,” said Captain John Duncan.
With divers in the water and others assisting on shore, they were able to hook a rope and chain to the SUV and a wrecker pulled it out of the water.
“You have to trust the person in the water, but the person in the water has to trust you,” Duncan added.
Battalion Chief Giles said this job was made a little easier with the help of local boaters’ equipment.
“A long time ago you could send a sonar signal down to the bottom and just get a noise back if something were detected. Now we have live cameras that send sonar pictures out.”
He adds that it’s a reminder to stay safe and aware near the water, “It’s one of the main elements in life that can take your life.”
Park rangers tell us there’s no other information on the vehicle or the owner currently. How the vehicle got into the lake is also under investigation.