2 TWRA officers hurt in boating accident on Norris Lake

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Two Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency were injured in a boating accident Friday night on Norris Lake.

TWRA says Jerry Short and Harrison Cornett were on patrol near Blue Springs Dock when they hit a large piece of debris.

They were thrown into the water. Short was able to swim back to the boat and use the radio to call for help.

The agency says both officers have minor injuries and were released from the Claiborne County Hospital in Tazewell.

They say the officers' life jackets saved their lives.

TWRA Law Enforcement Major Brian Ripley says, " The majority of fatalities from boating accidents occur as a result of situations similar to this one: People unexpectedly finding themselves in the water without a life jacket."

TWRA Investigator George Birdwell says, “In recent years, TWRA created a policy that all agency employees must wear a life jacket while in a vessel. However, several years prior to the mandate, law enforcement training personnel demonstrated the importance of wearing life jackets while on duty by subjecting the officers to rigorous training exercises. This encouraged many officers to voluntarily wear them before the policy was in place. It made the officers realize that in emergency situations, a life jacket is the only thing that can save their lives. Also, by our officers wearing their life jackets while on duty promotes the simple fact to Tennessee’s boaters that wearing them saves lives.”

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