5 dead in boat collision in Georgia, officials say

Five people died in a boat collision Saturday along a river popular with boaters outside of Savannah, Georgia, authorities said. Four o...

Five people died in a boat collision Saturday along a river popular with boaters outside of Savannah, Georgia, authorities said.

Four other people were injured, including Mark Christopher Stegall, who was charged with operating a boat under the influence and jailed in Chatham County Jail, said Mark McKinnon, spokesman for Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources.

Mr Stegall was one of two people who were released from a hospital. Mr. McKinnon said he did not know the condition of the other two injured.

The injured were taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment on the patients’ condition. The US Coast Guard and local emergency medical services said at least one person was in good condition.

Authorities were alerted around 10:30 a.m., the natural resources department said. The collision happened just north of a marina in Thunderbolt, Georgia, southeast of Savannah on the Wilmington River, a popular destination for boaters.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene. Divers recovered the other three victims Sunday morning from water about 14 feet deep, the department said.

Six people were in one boat and three in another, authorities said. Each boat was a center console boat, a medium-sized vessel designed for fishing and day cruising.

Witnesses told officials the boats were moving in opposite directions when they collided, the department said. The speed of the boats at the time of the collision was unclear.

When authorities arrived, some of the victims had already been rescued by other boaters and some were still in the water, said Phil Koster, operations manager for Chatham County Emergency Services.

One boat was badly damaged and the other sank, Mr Koster said. Mr McKinnon said authorities seized both boats.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 5 dead in boat collision in Georgia, officials say
5 dead in boat collision in Georgia, officials say
Newsrust - US Top News
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