(Reuters) – Five people died after two recreational boats collided head-on in a Georgia river over Memorial Day weekend, and one driver was arrested for drunk driving, US state authorities said on Sunday.
The Georgian Ministry of Natural Resources said that two people were confirmed dead immediately after the accident, which occurred on Saturday morning. It added that four passengers were injured and taken to hospital, while three others are missing.
The department said US Coast Guard divers from Georgia and the US Coast Guard retrieved the bodies of the three victims from the bottom of the Wilmington River near the coastal city of Savannah on Sunday.
The coast guard said divers recovered the bodies of a 37-year-old man and two 20-year-old men who were last seen wearing swimwear and without a shirt. The sources said they were seen 14 feet (4.3 m) deep in the water and in close proximity to each other.
Mark Christopher Stegal, 45, of Savannah, “was arrested for boating while under the influence of the accident,” the department said in a statement.
“The cause of the crash is unknown and is being investigated,” she added.
During Memorial Day weekend, which culminates in festivities honoring American military dead, many Americans flock to beaches, river banks, and other coastal areas to enjoy the great outdoors as the summer season begins.
The video clip showed a Coast Guard helicopter transporting the injured passengers from a wide area of the river. The coast guard said one of the wounded was in good condition. The condition of the other three wounded was unclear at first.