mostlycloudy
Friday July 3rd, 2015 4:21PM

LLRC shell damaged in collision near rowing venue

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - The President of the Lake Lanier Rowing Club said he has feared for years that one of the club's shells might be hit by another vessel, and Sunday morning those fears came true.

John Ferris said Monday he was not an eyewitness to the crash, but he got a call Sunday morning from some of the club rowers that a four-man shell had been struck by a fishing boat that was participating in a fishing tournament on Lake Lanier.

"We've had close calls where someone in a motorboat or in a rowing shell got too close...but never a collision in the past," said Ferriss.

Ferriss said those on board the shell told him they were rowing south toward the boathouse at the Olympic Rowing Venue when they heard an approaching fishing boat.

Ferriss said when the boat didn't slow down, the four rowers began to shout.

"Then the driver of the boat did slow down, but he couldn't slow down enough to avoid colliding with the shell," he said.

Ferriss said all four of the rowers were veterans and each had at least eight years of experience as rowers. Plus, he said they were wearing bright clothes.

While all four of the rowers were ejected into the lake, the fisherman did stop and help them get out of the water, according to Ferriss and the ranger with the Department of Natural Resources who took the report.

Ranger Kevin Goss said none of the rowers was hurt, but he said they were "pretty cold."

"[They had] minor hypothermia," said Goss.

The fisherman, whose name was not released, was cited for failure to follow the rules of the road and not yielding to a non-motorized vessel.

Typically, boating accidents happen on Lake Lanier in the busier summer months, and rarely does one happen with a rowing vessel.

"This is the first one I've ever worked involving a rowing shell," said Goss. "So, yes, that was unique, but, you know, accidents happen year-round on this lake."

Ferriss said the accident is strong testimony to him that boating safety rules need to be tougher on Georgia lakes.

"You know, the boats are expensive, but nothing like human life," said Ferris. "The boat can be repaired, and we're just very thankful that the people in the boat were okay."





© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
VIDEO: "'76 For Our Sacred Honor"
AccessWDUN presents a special video presentation in celebration of our nation's Independence Day. It was produced by AccessWDUN Videographer David Cook.
By AccessWDUN
3:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Forsyth Co. water main break shuts down Shiloh at Majors Rd.
Forsyth County officials are urging drivers to stay away from Shiloh Road at Majors Road while they try to repair a watermain break.
1:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
Chief: Microburst damages area of Clarkesville
A microburst with straight line winds caused damage to a small area in Clarkesville Friday morning.
11:41AM ( 4 hours ago )
Gainesville teenager dies in single-car crash
A teenager is dead and charges are pending against another after a single-car crash on Highway 13 in Gainesville Thursday night.
9:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
UNG, Ga. Tech students team-up to solve special needs
Nine students from Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial Design and fourteen students from the University of North Georgia’s doctoral program of Physical Therapy are spending the week on the Dahlonega school’s campus, collaborating to meet the needs of some special north Georgians who face unique physical and sensory challenges.
8:27PM ( 19 hours ago )