By Debbie Gregory
Efforts to recover the body of a Red Boiling Springs woman have failed, after she disappeared on Sunday, April 30, while kayaking on Dale Hollow Lake.
According to a TWRA press release, 46-year-old Christina Esparza and her 17-year-old son left the Cedar Hill boat ramp paddling inflatable kayaks on Sunday, April 30, before noon. With winds gusting at approximately 15-25 mph, waters were choppy and dock workers said the woman struggled to keep up with her son on the rough waters.
The release states that the son was maneuvering his kayak to return to his mother when he noticed her kayak had flipped and she was nowhere to be seen. Both kayakers were at least 100 yards from shore in water depths that varied between 60 to 120 feet. The deceased and her son were not wearing personal flotation devices (PFD), but they did have the PFD’s in their boats. Dock workers called 911 and TWRA received the report of a missing kayaker around noon.
Clay County and Overton County rescue, TWRA officers, Clay County Emergency Management Agency and the Clay County Sheriffs Office arrived on the scene and began searching for the missing woman until storms and rough waters caused them to discontinue.
Esparza’s teenage son was cared for by Child Protective Services until family arrived from out of state.
Recovery efforts continued with a regional response occurring this past Saturday and although they broadened the search, the body was still not recovered.
When contacted by phone on Monday morning, May 8, a TWRA spokesperson said that the man power had lessened, but they would continue to patrol the area Ms. Esparza disappeared in. “Our thoughts are with her family.”