We have some unfortunate news to report today as multiple search crews have been deployed in what has turned out to be a very large search for a 63-year-old grandfather following a boating accident.
While fishing with his 13-year-old grandson, the fishing boat collided with a bridge near McFarland Park in Florence, Ala. on popular Pickwick Lake. Authorities have confirmed that the 13-year-old was able to safely reach the shoreline but the grandfather is still missing.
Only an hour after reports of the accident, crash debris from the accident was found four miles down-river of the site. This part of the Tennessee River can be quite turbulent at times and when the accident happened, the Wilson Dam gates were, in fact, open. Upon reports of the accident, the gates were quickly closed in order to help authorities locate the man.
Because of the current in this area, the search area is quite large. Authorities are searching with sonar and focusing on a 200-yard stretch down-river of the bridge. Utilizing a grid pattern, they’re marking any areas of interest and returning to them and scanning them from multiple different angles. If the current subsides, which the TVA has made every effort to assist with water flow, they hope to deploy cameras and divers as well.
It’s also worth noting the presence of aircrafts in the area as well, as they’re able to cover much more ground during the search efforts.
Check back as we will update this story with any additional information as soon it’s made known.