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Man arrested after 5 people die in Georgia boating accident

By Paradise Afshar and Tina Burnside, CNN

A man has been arrested in connection with a deadly boating accident that killed five people on a river in Georgia, authorities said.

Two boats traveling in opposite directions collided Saturday morning on the Wilmington River in coastal Chatham County, officials said.

A 45-year-old man from Savannah, Georgia, has been arrested for allegedly boating under the influence, said Mark McKinnon, a spokesperson for the law enforcement division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

One of the two boats was carrying six passengers and the other carried three, McKinnon said. Two bodies were recovered Saturday and three on Sunday, officials said.

The other four people involved in the crash suffered minor injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital in Savannah.

Savannah is roughly a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Atlanta.

Authorities were also searching for the sector scan sonar, McKinnon said Saturday, a device that’s usually used to navigate vehicles and help avoid obstacles. Two Coast Guard helicopters also helped in the search, McKinnon said.

In a statement on Facebook on Saturday, Chatham Emergency Services said multiple personnel from the Chatham fire department, EMS, Coast Guard and Marine Patrol were on the scene of the accident, and urged those nearby to “avoid the area.”

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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