A 20-year-old Harriman drowned in front of his father and his girlfriend Saturday night after he jumped into Watts Bar Lake to try to recover a fishing pole.
Dustin Branson, Humphrey Lane, was fishing at the Caney Creek boat ramp and dock across the lake from Roane County Park when he jumped into the lake in an effort to retrieve the fishing gear that had fallen in, Roane County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said.
Wake from a passing boat apparently caused the pole to fall into the lake, he said.
Branson reportedly tried a couple of times to recover the fishing pole, Phillips said. "From what I understand, he started having issues, went under and didn't come back up."