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Update: Missing tubers recovered from Douglas Lake | News

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Update: Missing tubers recovered from Douglas Lake
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Update: Missing tubers recovered from Douglas Lake

Update 4:57 p.m

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency said rescue crews have found both bodies of two tubers missing since Thursday on Douglas Lake in Jefferson County.

TWRA said crews located the body of 53-year-old James Brannan from Illinois on Saturday afternoon around three.

Jefferson Rescue Squad Captain J. Ray Walker confirmed rescue crews found the body of 39-year-old John Perez from Indiana approximately an hour later.

Captain Walker said authorities will perform an autopsy on both victims. Authorities said this incident remains under investigation.

The search began Thursday on Douglas Lake in Jefferson County after the two men were tubing behind a rental boat and fell in the water. Authorities said the two men were not wearing life-jackets.

The rescue began as a rescue operation, but on Friday, crews said it became a recovery operation.

Ten different rescue squads, consisting of 65 people, came together to search for the two missing tubers.

TWRA has released the names of two men who went missing on Thursday while tubing on Douglas Lake in Jefferson County. Both men are from out of state.  A recovery operation for their bodies has entered its third day.

James Brannan, 53, of Illinois and John Perez, 39, of Hammond, IN were being pulled on a tube behind a rental boat when they went in the water.  Neither man was wearing a life jacket.

A TWRA spokesperson told 10News that it is unclear if both men were visiting the area or if they had recently moved to the area.  Perez's family was on scene at the time of the accident.

Crews are continuing Saturday to search for the men's bodies.  The recovery operation resumed around 9 a.m.  The incident remains under investigation.

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Saturday morning crews in Jefferson County plan to begin a third day of searching for two men who went missing while tubing on Douglas Lake Thursday.

The TWRA says the search was called off Thursday due to a thunderstorm, but they plan to resume it in the morning with Shady Grove as the staging area.

Officials have been calling their mission a recovery operation instead of a rescue.  They believe the two men likely drowned.

Capt. J. Ray Walker with the Jefferson County Rescue Squad  says crews from Greene, Grainger, and Sevier Counties are all helping with the search.  TWRA is also helping patrol the waters to keep other boaters away from the search area.

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Rescuers spent hours searching for two men who went missing on Douglas Lake Thursday.

Rescuers were called around 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening to the McGuire Creek area on Douglas Lake in Jefferson County.

The TWRA says two men, aged 53 and 59, were riding on a tube behind a rental boat when they went into the water. Neither man wore a life jacket.

Officials say rescuers searched for the men for three hours and still have not found the men. They plan to start the search back up around 9 a.m.

It is believed the two men were from out of state.

Edtor's note:  10News initially reported that John Perez was 59 years-old.  We have confirmed with TWRA that Perez is actually 39 years-old.

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