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Saturday May 23rd, 2015 10:59AM

Child killed in Lake Burton boating incident

By Rob Moore Reporter
CLARKESVILLE - A 7-year-old Florida boy died Thursday evening in a boating incident on Lake Burton.<br /> <br /> Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division spokesman Mark McKinnon said Friday night that DNR rangers were called to the incident a little after 5 p.m. Thursday.<br /> <br /> "When they got there, they talked to some witnesses who stated that there were two adults and four children riding in a ski boat and apparently the operator made a real hard turn and the bow of the boat hit a large wake," McKinnon said. "A lot of water came over the bow and it also threw two children into the water." <br /> <br /> The two children who were thrown into the water were riding in the bow of the vessel at the time of the incident.<br /> <br /> One of those children died as a result, McKinnon said.<br /> <br /> "We are still early in the investigative process," McKinnon said.<br /> <br /> McKinnon said the operator was very cooperative and had no signs of any impairment, and that all those in the boat were related and were visiting Lake Burton from South Carolina, Florida and Texas. <br /> <br /> "The only name we are releasing at this time is the operator of the boat," McKinnon said. "He is Dennis Michael Ficarra of Seneca, S.C."<br /> <br /> McKinnon said the incident underscores the fact that safety is paramount because unpredictable things happen.<br /> <br /> "It's definitely a tragedy and it really puts and emphasis on being so safe when you're in a boat," McKinnon said. "Anything can happen so you've got to be especially alert."<br /> <br /> McKinnon said the incident was hard on responding rangers, too.<br /> <br /> "It's tough on them," McKinnon said. "They have a hard job when they have to deal with these things. It really puts the exclamation point on boating safety and making sure that everything is in order when it comes to being safe."<br /> <br /> No additional information, including the names of others involved, is being released yet, he said.
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