23-year-old man identified in cliff-diving fatality

News Sentinel staff

The cliff diver who drowned in Tellico Lake over the weekend had been drinking with friends and dropped more than 40 feet before he hit the water, Loudon County authorities said Monday.

Justin Caywood, 23, of Blount County jumped Saturday around 8:30 p.m. from the Bluffs, a popular spot for high-divers, Loudon County Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Deputy Jimmy Davis said.

“He hit the water and never resurfaced,” Davis said.

Crews searched the water for about two hours Saturday night with no success. The search resumed Sunday morning, and members of the Greenback Volunteer Fire Department pulled Caywood’s body from the water around 11:20 a.m.

Witnesses told deputies Caywood had been drinking with friends, Davis said. Tests for drugs and alcohol aren’t complete.