NC man dies after boat gets sucked into raging flow of dam floodgate

NC man dies after boat gets sucked into raging flow of dam floodgate
(Fort Loudoun Dam on the Tennessee River Tennessee Valley Authority/Twitter)

TENNESSEE (Mark Price/Charlotte Observer) - A man from Denver, North Carolina, was killed Saturday in a bizarre accident that saw his boat literally pushed under water after getting too close to a dam floodgate, reports the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

A.J. Re, 23, was one of three Lincoln County men in the boat when it vanished on the Tennessee River, just below the Ft. Loudoun Dam, reported TV station WBIR. A specific cause of his death was not reported.

The other two men in the boat who survived were identified as Donald McCorkle, 49, and Clint McCorkle, 22, both of Lincolnton, reported WBIR.

Witnesses said the men were trying to maneuver their 22-foot fishing boat to the middle of the dam about 10 a.m. Saturday when it got too close to a floodgate and was sucked into the raging flow, reported a statement from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The boat "was pulled into the falling water and forced under," said the press release.

Other boaters in the area witnessed the men being tossed out of the boat and rushed to help, said wildlife resources officials in a statement. They pulled the three out of the water, but not before Re died, the statement said.

The three men were wearing life jackets, but it is believed the force of the water ripped the jackets off, said the statement.

One of the other two passengers in the boat was hospitalized, but his injuries were not specified in a Facebook post by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The agency is investigating the incident, according to the post.

"Due to recent heavy rainfall, many of Tennessee's waterways are very treacherous with high volumes of flowing water," said a statement issued by TWRA.