Authorities on Sunday recovered the bodies of three people who went missing after two boats collided in Georgia a day earlier, raising the death toll to five. The U.S. Coast Guard said four more were rescued Saturday.
Two people were confirmed dead on Saturday, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said in a statement.
Several agencies searched for the three missing persons using “Sector Scan Sonar and Divers”, Georgia DNR said. The three missing people were found 14 feet deep in the water around 9 a.m. Sunday, “close to each other,” Georgia DNR reported.
Authorities have identified the five men killed as Christopher David Leffler, 51. Lori Lynn Leffler, 50; Zachary James Leffler, 23; Nathan Leffler, 17; And Robert Steven Sansi, 37.
Georgia DNR reported Sunday that Mark Christopher Stegel, 45, was arrested for boating under the influence of alcohol.
Georgia DNR said in a statement that eyewitnesses said that “two center console boats carrying nine passengers collided with six people on one ship and three on the other while traveling in opposite directions.”
The other four were rescued and taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, the Georgia DNR said. The Coast Guard said one person was in “good condition.” No other information was reported about their injuries. According to a video released by the Coast Guard, a man with a leg injury had to be lifted out of the water by helicopter.
10:30 a.m. “At the confluence of Richardson Creek and Wilmington River in Saddam County on the Wilmington River near the Otland Island Wildlife Center dock,” the Georgia DNR said. The Coast Guard said the crash was reported by a good Samaritan at 10:42 p.m.
The Coast Guard, DNR, Noise County Marine Patrol, Savannah Fire and Noise Emergency Services are involved in the search for the missing boats.
Georgia is investigating the DNR crash.
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