The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 31, 2013

Coast Guard: River closed before fatality

(Continued)

But the warning wouldn't have helped the driver of the boat carrying Szozda because the craft lacked a VHF radio, Chunn said.

"Very seldom do you see a small boat with one," Chunn said.

Chief Petty Officer Bobby Nash, a Coast Guard spokesman, said the agency recommends that all boats carry the radios.

TVA crews had been using a cable to pull a new power line across the river when the cable broke, sending the power line into the water. Crews were pulling the line out of the river at the time of the accident, a spokesman said.

Electricity wasn't flowing through the wire during the work.

TVA and marine authorities stopped river traffic after Szozda's death until the wires were put back up, said Chief Danny Kelso with the Morgan County Rescue Squad.

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