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Crews recover body of second missing boater after crash near Ripley

Posted at 12:37 AM, Aug 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 20:01:02-04

RIPLEY, Ohio — The bodies of two boaters have now been recovered from the Ohio River after a boat crash Saturday night near Ripley, Ohio.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the second body was found Monday at 6:05 p.m. after the first body was recovered just after midnight.

Officials said a large boat crashed into a pontoon boat with people fishing on board around 10:00 p.m. Saturday night.

An ODNR representative said 49-year-old William Harper and 49-year-old Daryl Kilgore were the two people who went missing from the pontoon boat.

In total, officials with the ODNR said, five people fell into the water after the boat crash. Three were rescued, but Harper and Kilgore remained missing through the weekend. Officials said they had transitioned from rescue efforts to recovery. Officials said it is still unclear if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Three people from the larger boat were located after the crash; one was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Ripley fire crews searched late into the night for the two missing boaters. The search continued Sunday starting at 10:00 a.m. and into Monday. Members of Ohio Task Force 1 joined the search Sunday afternoon.

Witnesses said the pontoon had operating lights on the outside of the boat.

Ripley Fire Department and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife are handling the investigation.

This is a developing story, WCPO will update as more information becomes available.