The two boats were traveling in opposite directions when they crashed, said Mark McKinnon, a spokesperson for the law enforcement division of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources.
One of the two boats was carrying six passengers while the second carried three, McKinnon said. The other four people involved in the crash suffered minor injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital in Savannah.
“The identities of those involved is being withheld pending notification of family,” the spokesperson said.
Savannah is roughly a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Atlanta.
Authorities are now searching for the sector scan sonar, McKinnon said, a device that’s usually used to navigate vehicles and help avoid obstacles. Two helicopters of the US Coast Guard are also helping in the search, McKinnon said.
In a statement
on Facebook, 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.