Watauga Lake resides southeast of Elizabethton, Tennessee and is 16 miles long with a total area of 10 square miles. It’s a popular destination for many water sport enthusiasts and Memorial Day weekend has long been acknowledged as the start of summer for the communities surrounding this lake.
Sunday morning at approximately 11 A.M., the Carter County Emergency Rescue Squad responded to a call from a home on Campbell Road in Butler, TN. They were informed that a 21-year-old male guest at the home had not been seen since 6 A.M.
Utilizing a Triggerfish T4H outfitted with a Kongsberg MS 1100 “mini head sonar” (see picture 1), Rescue Squad personnel were able to locate the drowning victims body 20 to 25 feet below the surface, not far from a dock where his belongings had been found. They were able to operate from their pontoon station (See picture 2) vs. their optional land based setup (see picture 3). The body was entangled in some brush but the combination of the ROV and its sonar were able to locate it. Sullivan County EMS dive team was then able to easily retrieve the body and thus putting an end to the search efforts in a few hours from start to finish.
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