TWRA: Man saves uncle from fall into frigid waters

A fisherman who fell overboard on the Clinch River below Norris Dam on Sunday afternoon has his nephew to thank for quick action that undoubtedly saved his life, according to the TWRA.

70-year-old Cecil Branscom of Dublin, Virginia, and his 48-year-old nephew Scott Branscom, of Knoxville, launched their boat at Peach Orchard Access Area on the Clinch River on Sunday afternoon and headed upstream toward Norris Dam. When they reached the weir dam at around 2 p.m., they prepared to begin fishing when the boat’s engine hit a rock in the water, sending Cecil overboard from the front of the vessel into 48-degree water.

Scott Branscom managed to get his uncle back into the boat. Cecil Branscom was wearing several layers of clothing that was saturated from the frigid water, and he was not wearing a life jacket, a press release said.

Realizing that a boat ride back to the boat launch would likely be too time-consuming, Scott Branscom dialed 911, and Anderson County Emergency Medical Services met them at Miller’s Island Access Area.

By this time, Cecil was suffering from hypothermia and was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, where he is being treated and is recovering well, the press release said.

The incident remains under investigation by TWRA.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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