BE CAREFUL GUYS IT GOES TO SHOW IT CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME , IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE THAN IT ALREADY WAS FOR THESE GUYSKentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources News Release Boat Capsizes in Cumberland River Tailwater; Anglers Cautioned About Unusual Water Releases From Wolf Creek Dam March 10, 2006 Contact: Maj. Randy Hedges FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1-800-852-0942, ext. 452 Frankfort, KY An unusual water release Thursday morning from Wolf Creek Dam in Russell County contributed to the capsize of a boat being operated by an experienced angler. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Conservation Officer Tony Wright said a Russell County father and son plunged into the 40- to 45-degree water around 7 a.m. (CST) March 9 after their boat capsized near Wolf Creek Dam. The anglers, 43-year-old Jeff Fugate and his 17-year-old son, James Fugate, both of Creelsboro, remained in the water for approximately 45 minutes before being rescued. The men were taken to a hospital in Russell County, where they were treated for hypothermia and released three hours later. If they hadnt worn their life preservers, they would be dead, Wright said. The Fugates were fishing on the side of the dam that normally remains relatively calm while water is flowing through the structure to generate power. A concrete wingwall separates that side of the dam from the heavy current produced by the generator side of the dam. However, because of an ongoing construction project at the nearby Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, sluice gates underneath the dam are being opened whenever the electrical generation halts. These gates, which are rarely opened, kick a 30-foot tall column of water into the area of the tailwater that normally is not subject to heavy current. The gates must be opened to provide water for the hatchery. Wright said the anglers boat capsized when the sluice gates opened. The anglers were twice warned about the potential danger and told to leave the area prior to the gates being opened by a contractor working nearby and officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I think because they were on the other side of the concrete wingwall, where the water is normally calm, they thought they would be all right, Wright said. Water swamped the anglers 14-foot johnboat and it overturned. A back eddy created by the current swept the father and son to calmer water on the other side of the dam. There, Corps employees were able to lower ring buoys on ropes to keep them in place until the water could be turned off and a rescue boat dispatched, Wright said. Wolf Creek Hatchery Manager James Gray said sluice gates will be opened and closed during the next two weeks, and possibly longer. Boaters in the tailwater should use caution and stay at least a football field length away from the face of the dam. Boaters are advised not to anchor near the dam because of heavy current and water fluctuations. Anglers should have their personal floatation devices (life preservers) on and securely fastened whenever fishing from a boat anywhere on the tailwater.