One dead, two still missing after boats crash on Ohio River near Greenwood Boat Dock

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One person is dead and two others are still missing after two boats crashed on the Ohio River near the Greenwood Boat Dock Saturday night.

Pleasure Ridge Park Fire District Chief Doug Recktenwald said crews were called to the boat dock shortly after 10 p.m. on reports a pleasure craft had collided with a commercial vessel.

Recktenwald said seven people were on the boat. Five of them were accounted for and taken to the hospital.

One of the five has died.

Recktenwald told WAVE 3 News several agencies, both local and national, are working together to search for the two people, a man and a woman, who are still missing.

On Sunday morning, Recktenwald confirmed the collision occurred when a tugboat pulling a barge collided with a pleasure boat. When the two boats collided, barge workers went in and pulled out five people from the water.

The US Coast Guard was also on scene Saturday night and will serve as search and rescue coordinators while leading the investigation into how the crash happened.

Recktenwald said the river is roughly 57 degrees and conditions are “ideal” for rescuers.

He said crews will adjust their search patterns to match the flow of the river.

Coast Guard Chief Eric Roy said the coast Guard intends to bring more assets Sunday morning.

Recktenwald said the search will begin starting around 8:30 a.m. and will continue for several hours while sonar boats check a nine-mile distance from where the crash occurred.

“We have a couple of things in our favor,” Recktenwald said Sunday. “The water is calm, so it’s not a huge risk to our members and to all our search and rescue. And hopefully, that means they are somewhere fairly close.”

As of 4 p.m., the search has expanded to a 60-mile distance from Caesar’s Southern Indiana through to Leavenworth in Crawford County. Additional crews have been brought in to also search land near the Ohio River. PRP said teams have moved efforts from rescue to recovery.

LMPD announced earlier it had recovered the pleasure boat that had collided with the tugboat Saturday.

Louisville Metro Police is now handling the investigation along with the Coast Guard and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. PRP crews will remain in the area through the night and will reassign to assistance levels.

Nearly 66 people are actively searching the Ohio River at this time. Sonar has been deployed to mark points for divers to search, and the barges are being pulled apart to make sure victims aren’t stuck inside.

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