Two girls hurt in Waverunner accident on Fort Loudoun Lake
By Iva Butler | (email@example.com)
Two 14-year-old Knoxville girls were injured Monday morning on Fort Loudoun Lake when the Yamaha Waverunner they were riding hit a stationary private dock in the 4800 block of Wheeler Road in Louisville.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating what officials called the “serious injury boating accident” which occurred at 11 a.m., according to TWRA Information Officer Matthew Cameron.
One of the occupants was possibly ejected from the personal watercraft and both sustained nonlife-threatening injuries, Cameron indicated.
Kermit Easterling, a diver and swift water tech for Blount County Fire Department, was the first fireman on the scene. Rural/Metro Ambulance Service and Blount County Volunteer Rescue Squad were already at the scene.
Easterling said one patient was out of the water at Riverside Apartments, which are located beside the lake.
He could not see the red, purple and white Waverunner from the apartments and went down through the adjacent woods on a peninsula where he could see the watercraft.
The other girl was “slumped over the back of the Jet Ski. I hollered out but got no response,” he said.
Easterling then jumped into the water and began swimming out to the injured girl. “On the way out there she sat up. She was very disoriented. She did not know where she was, what the Jet Ski hit or what her full name was. She kept telling me she was dreaming.”
Easterling was able to pull the personal watercraft to the shore, despite the fact that it was partially submerged in the back.
Rural/Metro personnel met him there with the intention of carrying the victim out through the woods. However, a Blount County Sheriff’s Office rubber zodiac boat arrived and took the girl to the TVA boat ramp off Alcoa Highway and across from Topside Road.
Both girls were taken by Rural/Metro to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
Easterling said it was difficult to pull the damaged watercraft to shore because he was wearing his fire department uniform and the craft was partially underwater.
He said he was a lifeguard for years in Florida at the St. Augustine and Jacksonville beach areas growing up and had dealt with this type of situation before.
According to Cameron, the Waverunner operator had not taken the mandatory boating safety course, but both occupants were wearing personal flotation devices.
Blount County Fire Department personnel used their boat to take the damaged watercraft to the TVA boat ramp.
The TWRA investigation is continuing.