The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
An enclosed dock and a boat were destroyed by fire early Monday morning at Smith Mountain Lake.
The cause of the fire is believed to be burning brush close to the boat dock from the night before, according to Sgt. Karl Martin with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).
The fire was reported at about 6:30 a.m. at the residence of Lawrence McElvain in Hardy off Wysong Road, Martin said.
When Martin and Franklin County Public Safety personnel arrived at the scene, the enclosed dock was on fire and a boat was ablaze floating nearby.
The blaze was extinguished by fire boats from the Smith Mountain Marine Fire Department, Martin said.
The official cause of the fire has not been determined, but Martin said, "there is little doubt it came from some brush that was being burned the night before."
Three other mishaps were reported over the weekend at Smith Mountain Lake, Martin said.
On Saturday about 11:30 a.m. in the Gills Creek area, a boat operator reported to authorities that his wife had fallen overboard and believed to have drowned, Martin said.
"When we arrived, we found the operator of the boat," Martin said. "In the meantime, his wife had been picked up by a passing boater. She suffered no injuries."
The operator of the boat was a 45-year-old man from Roanoke, who was charged with operating a boat under the influence of alcohol (OUI). His name was not released.
In another incident on Saturday, Martin said he was called to investigate a personal watercraft (PWC) accident in the Gills Creek area of the lake about 5 p.m.
The report of the PWC accident was fabricated by a 26-year-old man from Richmond who had broken his leg, Martin said. His name was not released.
"The man admitted he had fabricated the story and said he had been consuming alcohol," Martin said. " He said he actually had been jumping off the top of a boat house with some friends. When he jumped, he landed on a wooden walkway instead of the water."
The man was transported to Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital and later transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Martin later learned that the man is wanted in Richmond for a probation violation.
In yet another incident over the weekend at the lake, Martin said a runabout boat carrying eight people was struck by a bass boat Saturday near Penhook about 11:30 p.m.
Both boats were a total loss as a result of the crash, but no one on either boat was injured, Martin said. The collision apparently occurred because the runabout had no lights illuminated.
The accident is under investigation, Martin said.