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Statesboro man believed to be dead after boating accident still not found

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Posted: June 13, 2007 6:16 p.m.
Updated: June 28, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    The search is ongoing for a Statesboro man believed to have been killed Saturday night in a boating accident in Lake Sinclair. Searchers were still looking Wednesday evening for Chris Thompson, 25, whose father-in-law Steven Lewis, 50, Adrian, was killed in the accident.
    Thompson is also believed to be dead, said Georgia Department of Natural Resources Cpl. Robert Peacock.
    Two boats - a 21-foot Stratus bass boat and a 17-foot Bass Tracker - collided around 11 p.m. Saturday night, he said.
    The accident occurred during a fishing tournament. The occupants of the larger boat were believed to be involved in the tournament but Thompson and Lewis were not, he said.
    While DNR officials are leading the search, officers with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Department, the Houston County Dive Team and other agencies assisted in the search as well, Peacock said.
    DNR spokesman Melissa Cummings told the Dublin Courier Herald Thompson was thrown from the boat upon impact, and said Lewis' body was recovered shortly after the accident.
     Cummings said the occupants of the 21-foot bass boat were Larry Jones, 33, of Eatonton, and William Jones, 50, of Milledgeville. Both were wearing life jackets and were thrown from their boat. They suffered slight injuries and were treated at the scene, she said.
    Larry and William Jones estimated they were traveling about 50 miles per hour when they struck the smaller boat , she said. The larger boat passed over the top of the smaller boat and then capsized.
     “Until we recover him I can’t say for certain what the situation is, but indications as far as the incident goes would be that he is deceased,” Cummings told the Courier Herald. “We’d much prefer the other outcome.”  
    The accident is being investigated by the state's Critical Incident Response Team, Peacock said. Charges are pending further investigation.
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