U-R update

A Wilkinson County man injured in a boating incident on the Oconee River in Baldwin County Saturday was still recovering in a Macon hospital Sunday, authorities say.

Sgt. Bubba Stanford, a game warden with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, said the victim sustained various injuries after his airboat hit a sandbar in the river just south of the Fall Line Freeway.

The incident occurred about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Stanford identified the victim as Bennie Emerson Hall, 48, of Gordon.

He was treated at the scene by firefighters/first responders with Baldwin County Fire Rescue and Milledgeville Fire Rescue Services. Personnel with Grady Emergency Medical Services later took him by ambulance to Atrlum Health Navicent, The Medical Center in Macon, where he was admitted as a patient.

The investigating game warden said Hall was taken to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

Stanford said he received a call from a Baldwin County 911 dispatcher that indicated some people on another boat had seen a man unconscious while on a boat that had hit a sandbar.

“They were requested law enforcement and EMS assistance,” Stanford told The Union-Recorder.

After arriving at the scene, Stanford said the operator of the airboat was still unconscious and appeared to be “heavily intoxicated.”

Stanford said the airboat had to be pulled farther onto the sandbar and then tied off.

“We took some of the personal items out of the boat and secured them in the state boat,” Stanford said. 

He said he later drove to the hospital in Macon.

Stanford said he was able to talk briefly with the victim.

“I requested a blood test on him of which he consented,” Stanford said, noting he later charged the man with boating under the influence (BUI).

Stanford said he wished to thank firefighters from both Baldwin County and Milledgeville as well as EMS for their quick response to the scene.

“I really want to brag about Milledgeville Fire and Baldwin County Fire Rescue because during the last three years, they have really done a great job of responding to calls on the lake and the river,” Stanford said. “It’s like when we get there, they either have just gotten there or they have arrive a short time afterward.”

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