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Local fisherman says Tennessee River needs more enforcing of life jackets

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.--  Search and recovery crews are on the Tennessee River looking for the body of a man who disappeared while swimming early Wednesday morning.

Officials say the missing boater was not wearing a life jacket when he and his fellow boaters decided to anchor and go swimming. Local fisherman John Wiggins said he sees this kind of thing happen far too often. He thinks something needs to change to get people wearing their life jackets again.

Wiggins fishes in the area around Ditto Landing up to five times a week. He said he's seen more types of these situations than he'd like.

"It seems like this river has gradually taken more and more people's lives because people don't want to put on their life jackets.They don't take heed of the circumstances of this river, can do to us out here," he said.

Wiggins thinks that more of a law enforcement presence on the river would encourage people to start wearing their life jackets.

"If we had more marine patrol out here checking life jackets and stuff, and helping the state to keep this factor down, and the loss of life, it would be tremendous help to everybody," said Wiggins.

Wiggins said the cost of a life jacket is nothing compared to the cost of a life, which is priceless.

"You can buy them up to ten dollars, that'll hold you up, coast guard approved. What is ten dollars? You know be cool, float, not drown," he said.

Wiggins said he wishes more people, boaters and swimmers alike, would take more precautions when they're on the river. A life jacket could mean the difference between life and death.