As the summer season of 2023 ends and autumn weather and festivities begin in many regions of the United States, the majority of fanfare surrounding boating and water activities in the nation is greatly diminished. While most states which enjoy a coastline with the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans boast the most significant cluster of boaters and aquatic enthusiasts, residents of states in the interior of the nation living near rivers or lakes and those along the great freshwater lakes in the north also partake in these affairs. In most instances, swimming, boating, waterskiing, parasailing, tubing, or any other sub activity within the world of water is looked upon as a fun, lighthearted and leisurely event. Americans across the country Unfortunately, in the case of two individuals from Tennessee, a day of fun ended in unspeakable tragedy.
On Saturday, September 9th, a father and son were killed while jet skiing. Steven White, aged 36 years was driving the water based vehicle with his 9 year old son at around 7:45 p.m. according to a local news source titled “The Tennessean”. White struck a barge, crashing the ski into the vessel. Crew members of the barge were quick to respond to the occurrence, but when White was found to be unresponsive and brought ashore, he was pronounced deceased at the scene. His step son, Blake Brainard, was thrown from the ski upon impact. Officials began an immediate search for his body, but it was not until nearly 24 hours had passed that on Sunday, September 10th at around 6:40 p.m. that his body was located. Both White and Brainard had been wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.
The incident occurred in Cheatham County, Tennessee. The barge was being pushed by a tow boat at the time, and an alarm immediately was sounded when the collision happened. 22 people in the Volunteer state have died this year in boating-related accidents.