A mother is dead after trying to rescue her children and others on a runaway raft.
The group was floating in the Nolichucky River in Hamblen County on Thursday afternoon, when their float drifted towards the Enka Dam.
Rescuers say 29-year-old Anna Last exited the float to try and pull it to shore, but was pulled under the current. They later recovered her body about a half-mile downstream.
Her two children, another adult and two other children were aboard the raft. They traveled through the dam, which includes a 6 foot drop. There were no other injuries.
A fisherman heard the commotion and called 911. Rescuers were able to throw a rope and pull the group to safety.
David Cribley with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office says the float was not meant for river-rafting, but had mesh openings that helped save their lives. This allowed water to flow freely without filling up and capsizing the raft.
Morristown EMS and Rescue Squad were also involved in the recovery.
Two other kayaks drifted down stream during the incident, but there were no other injuries.