Swift water on the French Broad River has paddlers calling for help

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officers had reports of paddlers in distress in two calls at nearly the same time Sunday on the French Broad River in Knox County.

Officers first received a call of two kayakers stranded on an island near the Seven Island State Birding Park on the French Broad River.  While enroute, the officers received a second call of two different people that had been ejected from a canoe in the same area and were clinging to a tree in the water. 

The kayakers were rescued by a passerby in a boat and taken to shore. Witnesses on shore rescued the pair that had been in the canoe. 

All four individuals were wearing life jackets and did not sustain any injuries, TWRA said in a news release. 

The Knoxville Rescue Squad also responded.

TWRA Boating Officer Jeff Roberson said there was high water flow due to generation at Douglas Dam that created a swift current on the river. 

Roberson reminds paddlers to check the generation schedule on TVA’s app/website and to wear a life jacket at all times while engaging in watersports.


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