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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Recovery effort continues for Vinton boater after collision

Monday, August 4, 2014

By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

A Vinton man is still missing following a boat collision on Smith Mountain Lake Thursday night.

Crews were still searching for Ronald Lemons, 73, Sunday afternoon, according to Sgt. Karl Martin with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF).

The search, which has continued night and day since Thursday, is now a recovery effort, Martin said Sunday afternoon.

Lemons was a passenger in a bass boat that collided with a 37-foot cabin cruiser about 9:30 p.m. Thursday near the entrance to Craddock Creek, Martin said. Both boats sank.

James McCulloch, 64, of Moneta, who is believed to have been operating the bass boat, was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Martin said.

Two men and a juvenile male from Greensboro, N.C., who were aboard the cabin cruiser, were rescued from the water just after the collision, Martin said. None of them were injured.

None of the boaters were wearing life jackets at the time of the collision, Martin said.

Volunteers with Smith Mountain Lake Fire and Rescue are assisting the DGIF with the search. Crews are using sonar to locate the two sunken vessels in an area of the lake that is about 200 feet deep, Martin said.

The investigation, which was hampered Thursday night and Friday morning by weather conditions, is ongoing, so no further details were available at press time Sunday.

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