Kayaker Struck and Killed by Barge on Tennessee River

Guntersville Lock and Dam (USACE file image)
Guntersville Lock and Dam (USACE file image)

Published Aug 2, 2023 5:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] A kayaker was struck and killed by a barge on the Tennessee River on Monday evening, according to local officials.

At about 2130 hours Monday, the fire department in Guntersville, Alabama received a report that a kayaker had been struck by an inland barge and had gone missing upstream of the Guntersville Dam. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency launched a search that night, and the kayak, the individual's life jacket and kayak paddle were all recovered nearby.

The body of the victim remained missing, but was finally found by search teams on Wednesday morning. The county coroner's office has identified the kayaker as Frank Lloyd Scaduto, a resident of nearby Huntsville. 

Local TV station WAFF reports that a second kayaker was present and was also struck, but survived and made it out of the water. 

The name of the barge and associated towboat have not been released. An investigation led by the U.S. Coast Guard and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is under way. 

Guntersville Lock and Dam is a hydroelectric plant and navigation lock operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The reservoir behind it stretches for about 75 miles, and is a popular recreation destination.