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TWRA's Ben Davis Receives Merit Award During Boating and Water Safety Summit

March 29, 2011

Nashville, TN - Ben Davis, a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer, has received a Merit Award from the National Water Safety Congress for his role in rescuing three persons who were involved in a boat fire on Watts Bar Lake last summer.

Ben Davis - TWRADavis received the award from the National Water Safety Congress in Savannah, Ga. during the organizationís 15th International Boating and Water Safety Summit.

The award comes as a result of Davisí measures taken to save a manís life after a boat exploded and threw the man overboard on Watts Bar Lake in the summer of 2010. Three people were thrown overboard, two had on life jackets, but one man who suffered second and third degree burns was not wearing a life jacket on and probably would have drowned if Davis had not heard the shouts for help.

The accident occurred at night and District 32 officers had just completed the second day of Operation Drywater (BUI campaign) when the shouts were heard. Davis ran down the dock and boarded his boat and drove toward the calls for help. He found the boat on fire and discovered three people in the water. Davis rescued a juvenile male and adult female who were each wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs). He pulled the burned victim onto the patrol boat and summoned emergency rescue personnel and life flight.

While waiting for the emergency responders to arrive Davis kept the man as comfortable as possible, emptying cold water over the manís body. TWRA officers assisted in transporting fire fighters to the scene of the boat fire and escorting the ambulance to a proper landing zone and establishing the landing zone. The patient was treated at a regional burn unit and was later released. The other rescued persons did not require medical treatment.

The National Water Safety Congress (NWSC) was established in Nashville in 1951 as a response to growing concerns over water deaths in the region of the Cumberland and Tennessee River valleys. An accident on the Calf Killer River where a family of eight drowned after their boat capsized prompted the organizationís establishment.

Each year, the NWSC presents awards at the annual International Boating and Water Safety Summit to selected individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to water safety during the previous year.


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