Friday, August 10, 2012

Emergency Crews Stop Searching For 'Plane Down' on Chickamauga Lake - Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee

911 Caller Says Saw Plane Go Down Into Chickamauga Lake, But No Plane Found After "Long Intensive Search" 

On Friday at approximately 4:38 p.m. a caller dialed 911 to report seeing a small plane go down in Harrison Bay around  the 7900 block of Highway 58.

 The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office along with several volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, but due to severe weather the initial search was delayed.  As weather conditions improved boats equipped with SONAR moved into the area and searched with nothing being located.

Members of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office SURT team responded and sent divers into the water where it was reported the plane went down,  but after a long intensive search, nothing was located.

Emergency personnel who responded to the scene were Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department, Sale Creek Volunteer Fire Department,Chattanooga Fire Department  Fire Boat, Marine Rescue and Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services.

Hamilton County rescue personnel search the Harrison Bay area of Chickamauga Lake late Friday evening after they received reports of a plane crash. Witnesses reported the possible crash about 5 p.m., just before a strong thunderstorm passed over the area. Officials called off the search about 9 p.m. Friday without having found anything. There was no word whether a search would resume today. 

The search has been called off for now, after water rescue and emergency management crews converged on the Wolftever - Harrison Bay section of Chickamauga Lake Friday afternoon on reports of a plane down. 

Crews have not confirmed the crash reported by one witness, but sonar-equipped search boats in the area did indicate "a large object on the bottom." The witness told officers it was a small "Cessna-type" plane or maybe an ultralight aircraft.

However personnel in the FAA Tower at Lovell Field told police they had no radio traffic or reports of any plane in distress.

 Several emergency boats are converging on the area and officers have established a Command Post along Hwy. 58 north of Island Cove Marina. They are requesting other boats stay out of the area.

Crews had to halt search operations when severe storms passed through the area, but as of 6:30, they were back on the water in the search mode.

According to Chattanooga dispatch, there are no plans to resume the search Saturday morning.

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The Channel 3 newsroom is following breaking news involving a possible small plane crash into Lake Chickamauga in Hamilton County. 

A spokeswoman for the Hamilton County EMS confirms that officers have been called to assist in the search. The search area is near Harrison Bay around the Highway 58 and Wolftever Landing Drive area.

More boats with sonar devices on the way to search.

Search crews have been hampered by strong thunderstorms in the area, but resumed their search once the weather cleared somewhat.