Search for missing boaters on Pickwick Lake switches to recovery mission


HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has declared the search for two Obion County High School students and a chaperone reported missing on Pickwick Lake in Hardin County a recovery operation.

Two 15-year-old Obion County students and one of their fathers, a chaperone, were reported missing around 9 p.m. Sunday night, more than 24 hours after they were last seen in the area of Pickwick Lake by fellow competitors.

The TWRA confirmed surveillance cameras on the side nearest to the State Park captured the three fishermen in the missing boat around 8:30 Saturday morning.

Officials said the main engine on boat was broken, so the boat ran on the trolling motor near the ramp and dam.

A miscommunication between the kids in the tournament led to lapsed time in the missing call.

The tournament was an inter-school group with Obion County High School kids. Many of the volunteers are from Obion County that said they wanted to help.

TWRA says the boat was recovered on Monday morning 14 miles north of the dam near the Savannah bridge. That’s where the search is focused at this point, but some boats are headed up to 30 miles out.

At this point, there is no information on who the missing students and chaperone are. The search is ongoing.

TWRA says rain has impacted the search, due to water levels continuing to rise on Sunday and Monday.

“Rain is the problem that we’ve had. It’s put a lot of water behind the dam, which means a lot of water coming through the dam. So rain equals more volume and we sure don’t want that,” Amy Spencer said.

TWRA says 35 professional boats and around 100 volunteers were out on Tuesday as the search continued. However, the agency is asking that volunteers leave the search on Wednesday to professional crews.

To support search efforts and members of the families impacted, an account has been set up at First Citizens Bank in Union City. Payments can be sent via Venmo to account @OCMAfisherman or checks can be mailed to:
PO Box 904
Union City, Tenn. 38281.

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