1 Confirmed Dead, Search Continues For Missing Boater After Lake Allatoona Boat Accident

Fishermen helped rescue anglers on Allatoona and Lake Sinclair.

Brad Gill | February 3, 2017

Boating accidents can be deadly, evidenced by the latest horrific crash on Lake Allatoona on Thursday, Feb. 2. Two boats and three unidentified boaters, reported to all be older-aged men, were in “fishing boats,” according to authorities. All three were thrown from the boats.

One angler was confirmed dead, and one was rescued and taken to a hospital. The third man is presumed dead after being located using sonar late Thursday afternoon. However, as Feb. 9, the body was still reported as missing while crews continued the search.

Two men were reportedly motoring down the lake in a bass boat in open water when another man began to speed up in his boat about the time the bass boat was coming by. The two boats collided, and all three men were thrown from their boats. The man alone in his boat did not have a kill switch attached, and his boat was found idling in open water after the crash. None of the men were wearing life jackets.

Sources told the lawyers for slip and fall injuries that all three men were alive and holding onto the bass boat directly after the crash. Once authorities arrived on the scene, one man was found deceased. It is believed that the angler who is now presumed dead may have succumbed to hypothermia and sunk. His body was located just prior to dark on Thursday evening, but the recovery could not take place until today, since divers don’t dive after dark.

An angler fishing nearby heard the crash and went to help, rescuing the survivor.

Last month another boating accident—this one on Lake Sinclair—had a better ending, although it reminds us of the dangers of running boats in public reservoirs, especially during the colder months when hypothermia can set in very quickly. There’s an excellent story about the rescue written by Liz Fabian for the Macon Telegraph.

Bass tournament angler Jody Bellflower, who has appeared a number of times in GON‘s tournament reports, rescued Mike Davis from Lake Sinclair after Davis was thrown from his boat when it hit a log, according to Fabian’s story.

Although Davis had a life jacket in the boat, he was not wearing it. Speculation is that Davis would not have been able to get back into his boat on his own power in the cold water, so it’s a good thing Bellflower rode by when he did.

Read the full story of the Sinclair rescue here:

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!