TWRA Reports Two Boating Related Fatalities over Labor Day Weekend

September 9, 2020

Submitted by Lee Wilmot

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports there were two boating-related fatalities over the 2020 Labor Day holiday period from Sept. 4-7.  

The fatal incidents occurred on Watts Bar Lake and Old Hickory Lake. TWRA officers were dispatched to a third fatal incident on the Hatchie River but it was reported to be medical related.

The Watts Barr single vessel incident occurred Saturday shortly before 6 p.m. near Blue Springs Marina. A 23-foot Chaparral cuddy cabin boat ran aground. Don Campbell (55) of Ooltewah was pronounced dead at the scene. The mother is in stable condition at UT Medical Center ICU and the child was treated and released from UT Medical Center to family members.

The Old Hickory single vessel incident occurred Sunday at approximately 3:30 p.m. Madison Renee Shipley (23) from Winona Lake, Ind., who had recently moved to Nashville, fell from a pontoon boat while in the Drakes Creek section of the lake. Her body was recovered around 9 p.m.

TWRA boating officers made four boating under the influence (BUI) arrests. Officers investigated other incidents which involved five serious injuries and six which had property damage.

             The Labor Day incidents bring the number of state boating fatalities to 24 in 2020. There have been 54 incidents resulting in 70 injuries and 76 involving property damage.

            The TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division compiled the Labor Day weekend statistics after receiving reports from the agency’s four regions.

—TWRA—