Sudden surge of water strands fisherman

9:45 am | September 27, 2012

An out-of-state visitor spending some time fishing with a friend in Carter County was rescued Wednesday after he became trapped in the middle of the Watauga River.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Friends Charles Kelly and Matt Borkowski of Virginia were on a fishing trip this week in Carter County when Kelly became trapped on the Watauga River. The Carter County Rescue Squad assisted him to shore Wednesday afternoon.

Charles Kelly and Matt Borkowski, from Northern Virginia, said they were visiting the area on a fishing trip.

They said they were enjoying their fishing trip until about 3:30 p.m., when the water began churning in the river along Wilbur Dam Road.

“I saw it coming up,” Kelly said. “I tried to cross over, but I got half way and it just knocked me down. I just went under.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority had begun generating, causing the water to deepen and a strong current to develop. The two men said they did not hear a siren to warn them of the oncoming current.

“Usually you hear a siren,” said Borkowski, who was on the shore. “I didn’t hear a siren.”

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