SAVANNAH, Ga. — Five people died after two boats collided Saturday morning during a busy Memorial Day weekend in Georgia.
Search and rescue teams found the bodies of three people missing in a Saturday morning boating accident on the Wilmington River on Sunday, bringing the death toll to five after two people were confirmed dead on Saturday. Four other people were rescued.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the three missing victims were located by game wardens around 9 a.m. Sunday in water 14 feet deep and in close proximity to each other.
According to a Chatham Emergency Services spokesperson, two motorboats carrying nine passengers traveling in opposite directions collided around 10:30 a.m. near the docks at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah, Georgia.
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After: A woman called 911 after seeing a boat overturn in the water. His call saved three fishermen.
Four of the five boaters killed were from the same Savannah family: Chris Leffler and his wife, Lori, and their sons Nate and Zach. Their daughter Katie and her friend were among the surviving passengers.
The Leffler’s boat carried six passengers and the other carried three.
Beyond the five fatalities, the other four passengers suffered minor injuries and were transported to Memorial Health Medical Center. A passenger was transported by a US Coast Guard helicopter.
Emergency crews including Georgia Department of Natural Resources game wardens, two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters, Chatham County Marine Patrol, Savannah and Chatham Fire Departments responded to the accident.
Additional details, including the cause of the crash, have not been released. Authorities have closed a stretch of the river to investigate.
The incident is the second involving a fatal boating accident on the Wilmington River this month.
Saturday marked the start of the three-day Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest of the year for boaters.
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