LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — Kenny Haynes has lived on Fort Loudoun Lake for 34 years. He said he’s seen an increase of abandoned vessels scattered across the lake, endangering boaters and the environment.
“I’ve noticed an increase in what I would call boat dumping,” Haynes said. “Just older, larger boats being towed out here and dumped.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority Agency manages the reservoir. Haynes said he contacted TVA months ago.
“They don’t have, nor does TWRA, apparently, have a boat removal policy,” Haynes said. “It’s supposed to be up to the ownership but I don’t even know if the ownership is traceable.”
“TVA takes action when it is a navigation or environmental issue,” a TVA spokesperson said in a statement. “We will coordinate with the appropriate agencies to safely resolve matter.”
Haynes believes this is an environmental concern. He sent us photos that he took of what he believes is oil leaking from the boat.
“Pollution is the biggest one, I guess,” Haynes said. “I’m sure no one took the time to drain the fuel and oil out of these boats before they dumped them. Plus, they’re just an incredible eyesore to everyone that uses the lake.”
We sent the photos Haynes shared with the TVA. They said they took the report and have now opened an investigation.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said they responded to reports in that area, but officers were unable to identify the owners for removal or littering charges.
Officials also want to encourage folks to properly dispose of their boats. A TWRA spokesperson said there are several options that could be used to getting rid of their boat, including selling it if there is any value, donating the boat to an organization that repurposes them, or taking it to a trash or salvage yard that accepts it.