CLARKS HILL, SC (WFXG) - Georgia DNR has identified the boaters involved in the Clarks Hill Lake boat collision as 51-year-old George Ashmore from Thomson and 65-year-old Tom Allgood Jr. from Augusta. Georgia Department of Natural Resources says the search team has found Ashmore's body, but are still in search for Allgood.
In the latest DNR boating recap, they reported 187 BUI arrests, 53 drownings, 147 boating incidents that resulted in five fatalities. Chris Connor of the Clarks Hill Marina ship's store says when concerning boat safety. "Boat safety, in my opinion, is all about using your head. Just a lot of common sense. When you start meeting a boat coming toward you, you want to slow down, bear off to the right, and they should do the same thing. They should slow down and yield to the right also," says Chris Connor.
Connor says he knew of both Allgood and Ashmore from fishing and their families. "What happened over at Wildwood is very tragic, around the holidays and all. I knew the guys. I liked to fish and he did too. I'd see his name in the paper occasionally and all. And Mr. Allgood, I knew who he was. My dad knew his dad when he was state Senator," says Connor.
This unfortunate event has Marina staff really encouraging safety even more. Carolyn Smith of Pair of Jacks general store, says boaters should be required to wear life jackets. "I think that they should be required to wear their life jackets all the time on the boats. Because I believe if they had had life jackets on, that might have been able to, you know, they might have been able to be saved," says Carolyn Smith.
"Just don't take boat safety for granted. You should always, you know, have your life jacket on and kill switch hooked up. Stuff like this can happen. And with the lake level being like it is, there's a lot of underwater structure that you can't see," says Connor. Georgia DNR were able to recover both boats and says no one else was injured.
Georgia DNR search crew are still in search for Allgood's body. Fox 54 News will update you with more information as we receive it.