Investigation underway after apparent drowning on the Nolichucky River in Erwin

UNICOI CO., TN (WJHL) –  A man apparently drowned in the Nolichucky River in Unicoi County Wednesday night. That’s according to Sheriff Mike Hensley who identified the victim as Robert Harold “Robbie” Bailey, 36, Unicoi County.

It happened around 7 p.m. near the intersection of Jackson Love Highway and Interstate 26 near Exit 40.

Sheriff Hensley said a woman called 911 to report the drowning.  Hensley said she and Bailey went to the river, and Bailey began fishing in chest-deep water with a fishing pole he borrowed from some people nearby.

Hensley said the woman told him she noticed that Bailey disappeared in the water.  Soon, she said she found him near the shore in an area of the Nolichucky River known as, ‘The Beach’. Hensley said the woman ran to find a phone and called for help.

Hensley said EMS crews attempted CPR, but were unable to revive Bailey.

He said it appeared Bailey accidentally drowned, but an investigation is underway and an autopsy was ordered to confirm the cause of death.

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