CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials said Tuesday morning the body of a 19-year-old Rhea County woman had been recovered from Watts Bar Lake after a multiagency search. The woman was also identified.
According to TWRA, Madison Taylor, 19, of Rhea County had entered the water from a boat to go for a swim and after going in, she did not resurface. A search for Taylor by multiple agencies began around 6:30 p.m., which included TWRA, the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office, Rhea County Rescue, Meigs County Rescue, Bradley County Dive Team, and Hamilton County Dive Team. They searched in 40 to 50 feet of water above the dam.
Soon after the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Recovery Team located what the TWRA called “a point of interest” on the lake bottom with a towfish sonar, Taylor’s body was located using a TWRA Remote Operated Vehicle.
Taylor’s body was transported to the Rhea County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Watts Bar Lake is a reservoir on the Tennessee River that is part of the Tennessee Valley Authority system via Watts Bar Dam. The last known fatalities on Watts Bar Lake were in March 2022 when a Ten Mile man died after a canoe capsized; and in September 2020, when an Ooltewah man died from injuries sustained in a boating accident.