Sad day at the dam

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Jamey, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Jamey

    Jamey New Member

    Pegram, Tennessee
    I wish I was posting about a boatload of hawgz, but no such luck.

    Two days ago, I talked a friend into joining me on the Cumberland at the Cheatham Dam. I've bankfished there plenty, but I recently accquired access to an old tri-hull w/ an 80hp Mercury, and looked forward to accessing all the spots that I only daydream about from the bank.

    We arrived at the Lock A ramp around 10'ish, and drifted the boils for a bit. My buddy managed to land a skipjack and a small striper before leaving at noon to meet his parents for lunch. I wasn't even close to wanting to leave, so we parted ways, and I stayed on the water. I explored downstream of the dam for a while, and made it as far as a big wall on river left a few miles down (that's some prime looking catfish turf too, submerged logs and snags all over). I don't really know that water very well, so after catching only a drum, I decided to head back upstream to the dam.

    I moored and anchored just outside of the last generator, in front of the first spillway, and put out three rods for cats and striper, while casting crappie jigs for skipjack. I managed to catch a 5lb and a 2lb channel, another drum, and hooked into something jumbo-normous! Unfortunately, my line was angled around the concrete, and whatever I had hooked ended up snapping my 65lb PowerPro! :mad:

    Shortly after that, I looked over in the distance and saw all the bankfishermen running downstream on the rocks. I figured one of the laotians hooked into a monster striper, and didn't really give it much thought. A few minutes later, I heard sirens. I knew that wasn't a good sign. Then I saw the helicopters - an even worse sign. Suddenly, I noticed water spraying from the bottom (which I couldn't even see minutes earlier) of the spillway, which was a little unnerving itself. That's when I realized they had stopped generating completely, which explained the dropping water. When the generators stopped, so did the fishing, so I decided to bail. By this time, TWRA, Ashland City Fire Dept., Dickson Fire Dept., and a slew of other rescue boats were on the water. On my way back to the ramp, I talked to a fireman who confirmed my worst fear: someone had fallen in. Actually, TWO people. While loading my boat, I talked to another fisherman I had seen drifting with a buddy. He seemed pretty upset, and told me if they would've been there a second sooner, they could've saved one of them. He grabbed at a sinking head, but said the victim's hair was really short, so he lost him. That was the last time they were seen.

    The next day, I went back to the dam at around 2. Rescue crews were still working, and a fireman told me they had just cut the generators on 45 minutes earlier and were still having no luck, but expected something within 36 hours according to water temperature. He also told me it was a father who had jumped in after his son. I was the only boat on the water that wasn't a rescue boat, the fishing was slow (1 two lb channel), and I finally packed it in when the downpour started.

    Today, the bodies were recovered.

    Now, I don't know how many of you have been to Cheatham Dam before, but it's dangerous water when the generators are going. There's a spot past the handrail, about an 8ft drop into the raging current, that the striper fishermen like to fish off of. About 75 ft further down, it drops to a flat rock that's almost the same level as the water - as such it gets slick. I regularly stand on this slick rock and castnet for shad, because they're often pretty thick through there. A couple weeks ago, I slipped there and busted my a$$ only a couple feet away from death. Like all the other bankfishermen, I wasn't wearing a lifejacket, and it really made me think. I know we all take a chance everytime we're on the water, and as adults, we can evaluate the risks and decide for ourselves. But all of this stuff really makes me think there should be a lifejacket requirement past the handrail, at LEAST for children. Maybe I'm way off base here - any thoughts?

    Anyway, sorry for the long-winded post. Here are a couple of local news links:
  2. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Evansville, Ind
    Thats horrible, i will definately have my kids wear life jackets at the river at all times. I couldn't imagine that happening to my kids or anyone i know.

  3. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    NW Arkansa
    That is sad indeed, I always make children wear their lifevest when fishing with me. makes em mad, but better mad than gone forever.
  4. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    i wouldnt make it a law but instead put up warning signs and advisory signs maybe even a wall at the top of the steps with the names of the people who drown there this would draw alot of attention and possibly encourage safer actions
  5. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Central Cail
    Jamey, That is truely a sad story and I agree with you on the part of making children wear life jacket's.
  6. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Jamey, this news is truley very sad. I myself make my children wear their life jackets ANY time we are near a body of water. The only time I don't is when I am at a city pond where I know the bottom is only 2 - 3 feet deep. I feel for the family and will keep them in my prayers.
  7. Southernraised84

    Southernraised84 New Member

    Fayettnam, North Carolina
    I hate to hear stuff like that but it goes to show you that you have to have safety first when you are out there on or around water.A simple day out on the river could turn into a tragedy.My prayers go out to the family.
  8. Big Nick

    Big Nick New Member

    McKinney TX
    That is bad news man. It just goes to show you how fragile life is. Being an insurance agent makes me hope that he had life insurance. Someones death affects quite a few things down the road. My prayers go out to his family
  9. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    GC, OHIO
    Sad news, prayers will be sent for their family.
  10. Growler

    Growler New Member

    Unadilla Nebras
    It's hard enough hearing about such a thing, but being there?
    My prayers are with the family, and my thought are with you as well.
    My kids wear life jackets on the boat untill they are 15 ears old, no exceptions, and on the shore of rivers or near dam's. It is nothing to mess around with.
  11. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Sad Story. I Make My Grand Kids Wear A Life Vest Any Time They Are Around Deep Water. I Learned When My Son Was About A Year Old. We Were Fishing From A Wall In Fort Wayne Indiana. He Got A Large Sucker And Was Trying To Stand Up When It Pulled Him In. I Caught Him By The Shoulder As He Went Under. He Never Let Go Of The Pole. I Had Several Similar Experiances While He Was Small. He Never Wanted Help And Caught Several He Couldn't Handle.
    A Few Years Ago My Grand Son And I Were Riding Down The Lake. I Was Admiring The View In Another Boat. When I Looked Around My Grandson Was Gone. I Panicked For A Minute Then Found Him A 100 Feet Behind The Boat Bobbing Up And Down Waving. He Had Decided To Go For A Swim And Just Jumped Out. He Still Cant Swim. Thank Goodness He Went Over The Side. For Several Years After That When He Went Out In The Boat He Had A Rope Hooked To Him And Well As A Vest On.
  12. skerz

    skerz Guest

    Truly a tragedy. It's stories like these that make a person realize how precious life is.
  13. Abu

    Abu New Member

    That is a terrible thing to happen and my prayers go out to their families. I made it a strict rule that my boys have to wear lifejackets in the boat or on the bank even though they both know how to swim. Some of the current we get close to is heavy and I couldn't help them if they didn't wear lifejackets. Sure they hated wearing the big orange ones so I took them to Walmart and let them choose their own, now they think they are cool and I don't have to constantly fight with them to put them on. I should practice what I preach to them so after reading this I am getting a lifejacket and wearing it in the boat.
  14. fwmud

    fwmud New Member

    Wilson's Mills,nc
    Yesterday there were 2 seperate drownings here. One was a 14 year old boy and the second was a 75 year old man. Both fell out of their boats and both drown. It's of course very sad day for both of the different families.
    Don't let you or yours become a statistic. Life jackets/vest are dirt cheap and pale in comparison to the value of a life.
    Check and wear life jackets on a regular basis. It should be a part of your mental checklist and much more important than your favorite rod/reel setup.
  15. lunkerman

    lunkerman New Member

    St. Peters
    That is HORRABLE! That makes me want to wear my life vest on the bank.
    They are in my prayers
  16. Redtick

    Redtick New Member

    Neoga, Illinois
    To add to the stories, a young boy recently drowned at the local lake marina. He had a life vest on while on the water in his dad's boat. As they landed at the marina, the boy needed to go to the bathroom so his dad took the lifevest off. His dad proceeded to load the boat on the trailer at the ramp. They then looked for the boy. He couldn't be found! Apparently, the boy came back to the ramp or dock and fell in. The boy's fater waded out in the water and found the boy under water at the end of the dock. He was dead!
    I reckon I don't wear my lifevest enough while out fishing.