published Sunday, June 5th, 2011, updated June 5th, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.

Rafter drowns on Ocoee River

A 36-year-old man drowned today while rafting with a group on the Ocoee River, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The man was on a guided rafting trip with five other people and a guide when the raft flipped in the rapids near the Ocoee Whitewater Center, according to TWRA spokesman Dan Hicks.

After the raft flipped, the occupants struggled in the water to get back on. The man was discovered floating down the river face-down. Hicks said he was wearing a lifejacket and helmet.

“This is very rare,” Hicks noted, saying the agency has never handled a raft-related fatality on the Ocoee in more than 15 years. “I’ve been on those trips and always considered it pretty safe.”

The man was from Arlington, Tenn. His name has not been released pending family notification.

For more details, read Monday’s Times Free Press.

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