TWRA warns of jet ski dangers after deadly crash on Norris Lake

One man died after the jet ski he was driving crashed with a boat.
One man died after the jet ski he was driving crashed with a boat.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 7:55 PM EDT
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GRAINGER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Sunday, a Knoxville man died on Norris Lake near the Black Fox Access Point after the jet ski he was driving collided with a 25-foot cuddy cabin-style boat.

Previous Coverage: Victim of fatal Norris Lake boating accident identified by TWRA

John Michael Curley Jr.’s death marks the 12th deadly boating incident in Tennessee in 2023. This year’s deaths are outpacing boating deaths in 2022.

Since Memorial Day weekend, people have flocked to East Tennessee waterways, increasing the number of boating accidents.

“When that happens, you get a lot of boats out there, sometimes in close proximity to one another, and sometimes they do collide because there aren’t any traffic lanes,” said Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Public Information Officer Matt Cameron. “There’s no stop signs, traffic lights, signals or anything. There’s boats going all directions out there, so it does create some dangerous situations sometimes.”

Personal watercrafts, or jet skis, are more prone to accidents because they change direction quickly. Cameron said boats often can’t distinguish in which direction the vehicles are moving.

Cameron called jet skis the motorcycles of the water. He reminded boaters and everyone on the water to be mindful of their surroundings.