Rutherford County, TN (September 4, 2021)—Multiple agencies are on the scene of a possible drowning at the Jefferson Springs Boat ramp located on Sharp Springs Road in Smyrna.
First responders were dispatched to the scene just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening.
Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR), Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services (RCEMS), Smyrna Police Department, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are actively searching for a man still believed to be in the water.
An eyewitness told crews he was loading his boat into the water when he saw the man and his daughter sitting on a jet ski. The man hit the gas to the unit and he and his daughter fell off the back of it into the water. Neither was wearing a life jacket. According to the witness, the man was yelling for help. Before the boater could make it out to the man and his daughter, some kayakers along the bank paddled out and were able to pull the six-year-old girl up on to one of the kayaks and safely back to shore.
The man went beneath the surface of the water. The boater went to the area where the man disappeared and used his fish finder and jumped into the water a few times but was unable to make contact.
According to RCFR Captain Adam Rose, two boats have been deployed and are now scanning the banks along the water to see if the man made it out safely. Teams have also called for the sonar system and are currently using RCSO’s drone to search as well. RCFR will soon be sending its drone up and has also enlisted the help of divers from Wilson County Emergency Management Agency and Metro Nashville’s Office of Emergency Management to assist in the search for the man. The Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter and its FLIR infrared camera technologies have also been requested. Smyrna Fire Department arrived on scene to provide any other necessary resources.
The girl has been reunited with her mother who was not present during the incident.
“We will be working on into the night to see if we can find the missing man,” said Captain Rose. “We are deploying all of the technology and assets we can for this search, and hopefully will know more soon.”