Report: No warning before boat ran into downed power line - KCTV5

Report: No warning before boat ran into downed power line

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According to a Marine Police report, there was no warning before a boat ran into a downed TVA power line on the Tennessee River, killing a fisherman. According to a Marine Police report, there was no warning before a boat ran into a downed TVA power line on the Tennessee River, killing a fisherman.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

According to a Marine Police report, there was no warning before a boat ran into a downed TVA power line on the Tennessee River, killing a fisherman.

The accident happened around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The victim, 65-year-old Anthony Szozda, was killed when the line hit him while he was participating in a weekly fishing tournament near Ingalls Harbor. Authorities said he died of blunt head force trauma.

According to the report, there were no water buoy markings or markings on the power line to indicate work was being done in the area.

TVA crews were working on the power lines that stretched across the Tennessee River when one unexpectedly fell into the water around 2:40 p.m. Crew notified the Coast Guard, who sent out a warning on marine radios. Recreational fisherman did not have the marine radios, so they did not receive a warning about the downed lines.

The river was shut down to commercial traffic from the Decatur Railroad Bridge to WHeeler Lock and Dam and two TVA boats with flag crews were in the area.

Crews worked on raising the downed line between 2:40 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. around 5:30 p.m., as the line was being raised above the water, a bass boat hit the line from the bow area at 50 to 70 miles per hour. 

The line hit Szozda, who was a passenger in the boat, above the shoulders in the neck area, almost decapitating him.

The driver of the boat was not injured, but the line hit him above his head, removing his hat.

The driver of the boat said no one was blocking the river, and the line was completely unmarked, with no markings in the water to warn boaters about the downed line.

TVA crews told the boater to drive his vessel to Ingalls Harbor where the coroner met him to pronounce Szozda dead.

TVA is looking into the procedures and warnings leading up to the accident.

Szozda's funeral is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Limestone Chapel Funeral Home.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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