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Old 08-29-2014, 09:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: On the "Ridge" outside the Lou
Posts: 10,513
The dangers of lake Taneycomo

As with any tailwaters (the body of water below a hydroelectric dam), Taneycomo can be a very dangerious place when power generation is high.
Here is the full story of the recent drowning on Taneycomo. As the story tells, it could have been even worse considering the two gentlemen that survived are in their 70's, and have some health problems.
If something can be learned from this tragedy it is always wear a life vest, and use extreme caution when in heavy current.

This post from by Phil Lilley.
Wasn't sure I wanted to be the first to post this... since I was directly involved. But I'll comment.

They were trying to free fly line in the tree just upstream from the first island below the dam. Corp was releasing 210 mw or 4 full units are the time. They made several attempts to free the line, only to release more line into the tree. They admitted after the fact that they should have cut the line. On the last try, they pulled in to the tree, beside the tree while 2 of the men tried to pull the line out. That's when water rushed over the side of the boat, flipping it, rolling it under the tree.

There was one angler fishing at outlet #2. He saw everything. As soon as the boat rolled, he ran up and used the EM phone to call the Corp powerhouse and told them to shut the water down. They did. He also called 911.

Gary went into the water and went downstream. The other two men were trapped under the boat, one was pinned briefly. They both managed to get out from under neath the boat and up onto the boat which was above water, up-side-down. That was a miracle in itself seeing both were in their 70's and both with health issues. They had to force their way underwater to get out from under the boat. One man said he had to go under the tree, under water again, to get where he could get up on the boat.

One man, who had been in the water, pulled his cell phone out and to his surprise, got a signal. He called my daughter, Megan. We were in our house- I listened to her repeat what he was saying. I got, "We're in the water" and 'we're just below the dam". I rushed to the dock, informed one of our guides who was dropping off some vets, grabbed some rope and a dock hand and headed up in my boat.

The guide beat me- his boat was faster. He was holding on to Gary who he found in the water face down and unresponsive. We were just in front of the MDC boat ramp. It took all three of us to get him in my boat. He was very heavy and his clothes were slipping off. Once on the deck, I started CPR.

They drove my boat to the ramp where one EMT was waiting. He took over CPR. More emergency personnel arrived. Me and an officer jumped in a boat someone brought up from the resort and headed up to retrieve the others stranded. We found them on top of the jon boat. The water had dropped considerably and there was little current. They were unhurt but cold.

EMT's worked on Gary for may be 30+ minutes. With no response, they stopped, but when they did, they got a heart beat and blood pressure. So they took him to Cox where he died shortly after 10 pm.

Gary was a Franciscan priest from the St Louis area. I visited with him earlier that day. He was a very nice guy and everyone from St Louis loved him. He attended at the Healing Water meetings there as support.
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