Boats collide; 3 fishermen in High Rock tourney sent to hospital
By Shavonne Potts
Three people were sent to the hospital Saturday after two fishing boats collided during a fishing tournament on High Rock Lake.
Two bass boats ran into each other at 12:30 p.m. in the main channel of the lake, said Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Four fishermen participating in the Wal-Mart FLW bass tournament were involved.
The accident happened with few other boats around, Sharum said.
Boat owner/operator David Redman of Lemon Tree Lane, Concord, was injured and taken to Rowan Regional with non-life threatening injuries. His passenger, Darrell McManus of Hidden Grove Trail, Charlotte, was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte with unknown injuries.
The other boat/owner, Tony Stafford of Kernersville, was not injured. His passenger, Kenneth Hutchins of Hamptonville, was transported to Rowan Regional complaining of shortness of breath and pain in his ribs. Hutchins was treated and released.
The boats were meeting in a head-on situation at speeds higher than 50 mph. Both operators reportedly made a series of high speed turns attempting to avoid one another before the collision, Sharum said.
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Division of Enforcement is conducting the investigation.
According to Sharum, speed and failure to observe the “rules of the road” were factors that caused the accident. No charges have been filed.
There is no speed limit on the water, he said, except near the bridge and marina.
More than 170 boats with 340 fishermen were participating in the tournament.
“There’s been quite a lot of accidents this month,” Sharum said.
It was the fourth or fifth collision in June, he added. In 2006, the last year figures were complete, 217 non-fatal accidents and 22 fatal accidents were reported on the water across North Carolina.
Rowan County Rescue Squad, Liberty Volunteer Fire Department, Rowan County EMS and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office also responded.