Alabama Boating Accident Victim’s Body Recovered

A marine-related incident occurred at approximately 11:20 a.m., on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023. A grandfather and his grandson were fishing in the current below Wilson Dam on Pickwick Lake. Both fishermen were thrown from their 1981,16-foot Bass Tracker fishing boat, which is a small aluminum bass boat-style boat.

This is a boat similar to the boat involved in the accident.

Both, Daniel E. Hamm, 63, of Florence, AL, and his 13-year-old grandson, were thrown overboard when their 1981,16-foot Bass Tracker fishing boat collided with a support structure of the Singing River Bridge that spans the Tennessee River (Pickwick Lake). The bridge supports are a short distance downstream from Wilson Dam. Strong currents are generated when the dam’s turbines are activated or the spillways are open. Fishermen that venture below Wilson Dam when the turbines are running can attest to how strong the current is at that time.

Hamm and his grandson were thrown overboard when their boat was swept into one of the massive support structures but the younger boy managed to swim to a close island bank where he was rescued.

The victim’s body was discovered about one mile downstream from the Singing River Bridge- the point of impact. The discovery of Mr. Hamm’s body was made on the south side of Pickwick Lake by a fisherman. The location is direct across from Cypress Creek which is located on the north side of the lake just downstream from McFarland Park and Ramp.

Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Marine Patrol Division, ALEA’s Aviation Unit, the Florence Dive Team along with several other local and area agencies responded to assist with the search and rescue effort. They participated in the search for several days. Over 100 personnel were involved in the search for Mr. Hamm’s body.


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