News Release

Visitor Drowns at Blue Heron Area of Park

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Date: July 11, 2020
Contact: Christopher Derman, 423-569-9778

On July 10, at approximately 11:00 AM (ET), a male 52-year-old Stearns resident was swimming across from the Blue Heron Boat Launch with family when he submerged underwater and never reappeared. The victim’s relatives reported the incident to park rangers 10 minutes later.

The victim's body was recovered that evening, at approximately 8:00 PM, with assistance from: Obed Wild & Scenic River, Pine Knot Fire, Whitley City Fire, McCreary County Sherriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Fish and Game, Pulaski County Dive Team, Russell Springs Kentucky Dive Team.

Any body of water can be deadly, even if the water looks calm. It is essential to always wear a personal floatation device and know your abilities and water conditions before entering the water.

Drowning is the Number 1 cause of death at Big South Fork, with approximately one water-related fatality per year. 

For information on river safety, please click here

Last updated: July 13, 2020

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4564 Leatherwood Road
Oneida, TN 37841


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