UPDATE: Man dies rafting at the Ocoee
POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- It's another day for rafters at the Ocoee as a group gets set to ride the running waters.
The fun in the sun came to a tragic end Sunday, after a group of rafters stalled out on the Olympic course.
Two of the largest waves on the course known as 'Godzilla' and 'Humongous,' can prove to be quite challenging for the average rafter.
One witness says he saw the rapids claim their first victim in nearly 15 years.
Pavel Gloushenya says, "He was going slow at humongous and what happens if you go to slow, the waves will roll you."
The victim is 36-year-old Jay McKelroy of Arlington, Tennessee.
Pavel says there were several rescue rafts nearby pulling everyone to safety, however McKelroy wasn't moving.
Gloushenya says, "There were ropes everywhere and one guy was just floating not grabbing anything."
The news of McKelroy's death was a blow to the crew of Wild water LTD.
Manager Lance Luke says the joys of running the rapids, always come with safety concerns.
Luke says, "We are playing in nature's playground. It is not an amusement park. These rafts don't ride on rails and despite guides' best efforts, certain situations do occur."
Instructor Andy Wick says every wave is different, and even those with the most experience, should take it a day at a time.
Wick says, "Moving forward and thinking at the next rapid, that's how you prepare and you have to expect the unexpected."
Gloushenya says, "We have to live with that everyday and knowing the something bad can happen is just part of the job."
Investigators are waiting on the results of an autopsy to find out how McKelroy died.
We are told he may have suffered from a medical condition.
This marks the eighth water-related death in Tennessee this year.
McKelroy was rafting with a separate company at the time of the tragedy.
No Wildwater LTD guests were involved in this incident. Wildwater says it has not had an incident in its 41-year history.