5 injured in boat accident on Allatoona Lake

 1 dies, 5 injured in 2 boating incidents; Canton man charged

One man died Sunday morning after a boating incident off Little Tybee Island.

The Department of Natural Resources reported a couple hit a sandbar off the island and were in the process of making way again when a series of waves capsized their “skiff style” boat. The man, 52, drowned and the woman he was with was airlifted to a hospital with no apparent injuries.

In addition to this morning’s fatality, the DNR reports 11 boating incidents in state waters, including a boat crash late Saturday night on Lake Allatoona that injured at least five people and led to one BUI arrest.

Witnesses reported a Chaparral ski boat hit a Maxum cabin cruiser from behind, going up and over the boat causing damage and injuries at about 11:3o p.m., just after fireworks at the Allatoona Yacht Club, Georgia DNR spokesman Mark McKinnon told Channel 2 Action News. The crash occurred near the mouth of Illinois Creek at Lake Allatoona.

Five people, including a 4-month-old infant, were injured on the cabin cruiser, McKinnon said. They were all taken to Cartersville Medical Center and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The operator of the cabin cruiser sustained the most injuries. One person received a minor injury on the Chaparral ski boat. There were four people on the ski boat.

The ski boat’s driver, Joseph S. Tofil, 50, of Canton, was arrested on a charge of boating under the influence. He was released at 4:44 a.m. Sunday on an $800 cash bond, Bartow sheriff’s Sgt. Jonathan Rogers told Channel 2.

The incident is under investigation.

McKinnon said a total of 36 people were arrested on BUI charges during the holiday weekend — 15 on Saturday.

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