SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah man has been arrested in a Memorial Day weekend boat crash on the Wilmington River that left five people dead.
According to Mark McKinnon with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Mark Stegall, 45, faces a charge of boating under the influence in the incident. Chatham County booking records show he was granted a $3,500 bond.
Officials said the crash occurred around 10:30 a.m. Saturday when two center console boats, traveling in different directions, collided near Richardson Creek and the Oatland Island Wildlife Center docks.
There were a total of nine passengers — six in one vessel and three in the other — when the crash occurred.
Two people died at the scene, according to Georgia DNR. Four others were taken to Memorial Health by Chatham EMS or U.S. Coast Guard helicopter for treatment of various injuries.
Meanwhile, multiple agencies searched for the three missing individuals.
According to Georgia DNR, around 9 a.m. Sunday, game wardens located the victims in close proximity to each other. Chatham County Marine Patrol assisted in the recovery effort.
The Coast Guard previously described those missing as a 37-year-old white male and two early 20-year-old white males.
Chatham EMS COO Phil Koster said it’s been a difficult Memorial Day weekend already, in light of the boat crash and multiple vehicle accidents on Highway 80.
“Just be safe this weekend,” Koster urged.
Tybee Mayor Shirley Sessions offered her condolences to the families of those killed in the crash.
“Thanks to Coast Guard and all rescue agencies and good Samaritans who assisted throughout the tragic ordeal,” she continued in a statement online.
Georgia DNR said the identities of those involved are being withheld until family members are notified. The agency’s Critical Incident Reconstruction Team is investigating the cause of the crash.