More details released after Rhea County boating death - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

More details released after Rhea County boating death

Update: SUNDAY 6:05 PM

Tennessee Wildlife officer Joe Busch checks his boat for floatation devices and other survival gear before heading out.

He returned to the same dock in Rhea County where this boat carrying four hunters capsized in the frigid waters Saturday morning claiming the life of one hunter, Ricky Walker of Cleveland.

The TWRA officers said early in their investigation they could tell the boat carrying the men was over it's weight capacity.

Busch said that likely caused the boat to begin to take on water the weight shifted to the back and caused the boat to tip.

On Busch's boat the plate is clearly visible near the motor.

He said many boaters don't take into consideration the gear and extra modifications to the boat usually make the boat heavier than normal.

He said Walker also wasn't wearing a life vest.

Initial reports stated that Walker may have died of hypothermia, but Busch said because the water temps were so low, Cold Water Immersion, a sudden shock that removes heat from the body 25 times faster than cold air, may have been the cause of death.

Now wildlife officials are issuing warning to everyone braving the cold weather waters for leisure.

Saturday 9:55 AM


RHEA COUNTY (WRCB) -- One person has died after a boat capsized in Rhea County Saturday morning.

As yet unconfirmed information is that four men were on the boat when it overturned.

Stay with Eyewitness News for the latest on this incident.

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