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Five dead, several injured in holiday weekend boating incidents

A collision between two vessels near Savannah, Georgia, left five dead, a local official said. In Illinois, multiple people were hospitalized after a boat fire.
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Five people are dead and more than a dozen others were hospitalized in holiday weekend boating incidents in Georgia and Illinois on Saturday, authorities said.

Two boats carrying a total of nine people appeared to collide nearly head-on Saturday morning along the Wilmington River near Savannah, Georgia, Chatham Emergency Services Chief Philip D. Koster said.

Two people were confirmed dead at the scene, three were missing before being recovered and pronounced dead on Sunday morning, and four were transported to Memorial Health Medical Center in Savannah to be treated for their injuries, according to a statement released Sunday by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Koster described four of the six onboard one of the boats as teenagers.

The Coast Guard fielded a 10:42 a.m. marine radio report of the collision with people in the water, located more than 1 mile north of Thunderbolt Marina.

On the Illinois River in the area of Seneca, Illinois, a 30-foot boat went up in flames about 5:30 p.m., Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

Illinois State Police said of 17 onboard, one suffered serious injuries and was taken to medical facilities by helicopter, and 13 others were hospitalized with injuries not thought to be life-threatening.

The fire happened as the boat appeared to be docked, berthed or stopped near Spring Brook Marina on the river. The cause of the blaze was being investigated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police.