Rough waters at Reelfoot Lake claim fisherman

Rough waters at Reelfoot Lake claim fisherman

The Messenger 02.24.12

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
A Blytheville, Ark., fisherman believed to have been in his 50s was pulled from the waters of Reelfoot Lake Thursday evening and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder.
George McHan’s body was discovered by another fisherman on the lake and he pulled him up to his boat before calling rescue workers.
“He (the fisherman) held on to his body until he could get some assistance,” Vastbinder said.
That was about 5 p.m. Thursday in the area between Green Island Point and Grooms Pocket.
The local sheriff described Reelfoot Lake as very choppy due to 30 mile-an-hour southerly winds.
It is believed McHan regularly fished at Reelfoot Lake. He reportedly put in at Keystone Park in Lake County to go fishing, according to Vastbinder.
There were originally reports of a second person stranded on the lake, but Vastbinder said no one else was found in the water.
Those agencies responding to the incident included members of the Obion County Rescue Squad, Lake County Rescue Squad, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and several volunteers.
Obion County Rescue Squad Capt. Teddy Willcutt told The Messenger this morning he was out at the scene until around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, along with three other local rescue squad members.
He said the lake was calm by the time he arrived on the scene but the water was “really rough” earlier in the day.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ ucmessenger.com.

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