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Officials: Man fishing for 80th birthday dies in boat crash

October 29, 2021 GMT

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A man who went fishing for his 80th birthday was killed in a boat crash on a central Georgia lake, officials said.

George Ralph Harper of Eatonton was knocked unconscious Wednesday afternoon when another boat crashed into his vessel on Lake Sinclair near Milledgeville, The News & Observer reported. He was given CPR but later died from his injuries.

Another boat was coming out of a cove and the operator didn’t initially see Harper’s stationary boat, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“Once the operator saw the second vessel, he attempted to steer away, but he struck the fishing boat, rendering a passenger in that boat unconscious and not breathing,” the release said.

Harper died of blunt-force trauma at a hospital, Baldwin County Chief Deputy Coroner Ken Garland told the newspaper.

The person operating the other boat wasn’t named and no charges were listed.

The reservoir about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta is used for water activities including boating and fishing, according to the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Convention & Visitors Bureau.