UPDATE: TWRA investigating death of 2 boaters, pet found on Chic - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: TWRA investigating death of 2 boaters, pet found on Chickamauga Lake

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File photo of boat on Chickamauga Lake. File photo of boat on Chickamauga Lake.
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: A man, woman and a pet were found dead on a boat near Harrison Bay on Monday. TWRA officials suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

Per TWRA, Kristy James and Mike Richardson were reported missing on Monday morning by a concerned family member. The pair went boating on Chickamauga Lake Saturday and hadn't been heard from since.

Investigators discovered the boat floating in a cove near Harrison Island, across from Highway 58. Both victims and their pet were found dead on board.

Monday evening, investigators with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office were spotted near Harrison Island. Crime scene tape blocked off the 34-ft. Bayliner, docked at Island Cove Marina until sunset. That's when officials were seen towing the boat to an unknown location.

TWRA officials believe carbon monoxide poisoning killed the boaters inside the cabin.

"It's a real painless death, but it sneaks up on you, and you have no clue when it's happening," said Clay Ingle of Hamilton County STARS.

While carbon monoxide deaths are rare, Ingle said they can happen inside recreational equipment.

"In a boat or a camper, where you're in an enclosed space, and you're heating, cooling, or cooking with a gas, you've always got to be concerned about carbon monoxide poison," he said.

Ingle said it's imperative to ensure working carbon monoxide detectors are on board any closed-cabin boat or RV.

"A carbon monoxide detector absorbs carbon monoxide. When it gets so much in there, that's when it goes off, and it's time to find out what the problem is," he explained. 

It's unclear if a carbon monoxide detector was on the boat. TWRA said the case remains active, and autopsy results are pending.

Officials confirm three previous fatalities resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning since 2010. Enclosed cabin boats were involved in all incidents.


PREVIOUS STORY: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says two boaters and their pet were pronounced dead at the scene of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake Monday. 

According to a release from TWRA, Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga were reported missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day by a concerned family member.

The boaters had not been heard from since Saturday.

TWRA Officer Joe McSpadden responded to a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department regarding the boaters on Chickamauga Lake around 10:45AM. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department found the vessel, a 34’Bayliner, afloat in a cove near the 477 mile marker, near Harrison Island.

The bodies of both victims and their pet were discovered on board.

The bodies of both victims were transported to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s office and the case remains under investigation.

TWRA confirms three previous fatalities resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning since 2010. Enclosed cabin boats were involved in all incidents.

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