Wilson Dam

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency information Update
The boat involved in the accident was a 1981 16-foot Bass Tracker fishing boat, which is a small aluminum jonboat-style boat. The was pushed into a bridge support on the Singing River Bridge by a strong current.

(Ed, Note) The impact of the small boat evidently threw both passengers, Daniel E. Hamm, 63, of Florence, and his 13-year-old grandson, into the river. The bridge is a mile or so upstream from the MacFarland harbor and boat ramp. Fishermen that venture below Wilson Dam when the turbines are running can attest to how strong the current is at that time.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency provided the following information:
A marine-related incident occurred at approximately 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, resulting in a search and rescue operation. A vessel struck a bridge piling near the TVA’s Rockpile Boat Ramp on Pickwick Lake in Lauderdale County. The two individuals on the vessel were thrown overboard, one has been rescued and the other is still missing.
The individual that is currently missing has been identified as Daniel E. Hamm, 63, of Florence. The other individual which went overboard and was rescued has been identified as a 13-year-old juvenile.
Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Marine Patrol Division, ALEA’s Aviation Unit, the Florence Dive Team along with several other agencies are currently responding to assist with the search and rescue effort. Nothing further is available as the situation is ongoing.
A search is underway for the body of a man apparently thrown overboard from a fishing boat below Wilson Dam.
A grandfather and his 13-year-old grandson were fishing below Wilson Dam when their boat was apparently pushed against one of the support structures of the Singing River Bridge that spans the Tennessee River below the dam. The 13-year-old managed to swim safely to the shore but the grandfather did not make it to the shore safely. Several agencies are involved in the search for the body of the grandfather.
This incident is not the first fatal accident that has happened below Wilson Dam when fishing boats collide with the bridge’s support structures in the swift water that occurs when the dam’s turbines are engaged and/or multiple spillways are opened.

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