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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) officers responded to a missing person incident on Tims Ford Lake at Rock Creek Boat Ramp on the evening of Sunday, August 13, 2023.

Bystanders called authorities after finding a truck backed down the ramp with jet ski floating nearby.  Officials began a search of the area which concluded on Monday morning when the body of the missing jet skier was located.

Preliminary investigation indicates that Edward Harper, age 80, from Estill Springs was attempting to load his PWC onto his trailer at Rock Creek Boat Ramp when he somehow entered the water.  Investigators deployed the TWRA remote operated vehicle (ROV) and located the body in 35 feet of water approximately 25 yards from the courtesy dock. Divers from Franklin County Rescue made the recovery. Harper was not wearing a life jacket.

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Assisting agencies were Franklin County Sheriff Department, Franklin County Rescue, Franklin A&E EMS, Estill Springs Police Department, and Tims Ford State Park.

This fatality raises the total of fatal boating incidents to 19 in Tennessee for 2023.

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