Pro angler injured in boat crash during tournament on Lake Seminole

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By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 2, 2018

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WCTV) -- A Friday morning boat crash sent a professional angler to the hospital.

It happened around 7:40 a.m. on the Georgia side of Lake Seminole.

Authorities say the two boats involved in the crash were a part of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division bass tournament.

The FLW website says co-angler Jim Topmiller of Orlando was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The other three anglers reportedly declined medical attention.

Both boats were able to make it to the landing in Chattahoochee, Florida, where local fishermen there are all too familiar with the dangers of the lake.

"A lot of stumps, lot of sunken logs. If you don't know where you're at, you got to stay in the channel, especially coming down that river from Bainbridge where they put in at," said, Marty Butler, a Chattahoochee resident and avid boater. "It gets pretty dangerous and pretty hairy coming down through there, especially when you got 60 miles an hour these days is nothing for a bass boat."

Authorities say the two boats were going at a low speed at the time they collided.

The bass tournament was canceled Thursday because of the wind. However, reports say weather conditions were not a factor in Friday morning's boat crash.

The accident is being investigated by local authorities and the Georgia Department of natural Resources.

The bass tournament continues Saturday morning at 7, with weigh-in at 3 p.m. at the Bainbridge Boat Basin.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
March 2, 2018

DECATUR COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Authorities in Decatur County are investigating what led up to a boat collision on Lake Seminole.

The Decatur County Sheriff's Office says two boats collided around 8:00 Friday morning.

At least one person was injured and was taken to a Tallahassee hospital.

There is a Fishing League Worldwide tournament taking place on the lake this weekend. Authorities say it is not clear if the boats involved in the crash were taking part in the tournament.

The sheriff's office says the investigation will be turned over to the Department of Natural Resources.

We have a reporter on the way to the scene. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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