Four Dead Following Accident on Georgia’s Lake Lanier

An accident on Georgia’s Lake Lanier claimed four lives after a 38-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran flipped on Friday, the day before the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run in Buford.

According to several reports, the 388 Skater owned by Kentucky’s Art McMahan was traveling at a high rate of speed at approximately 4 p.m. on the south end of the lake when it flipped and ejected all four people on board, McMahan, his wife Melissa, and their friends Anthony and Tammy Reece, the Kentucky couple who own the notable Statement Marine 42-foot V-bottom Saddle Up.

At the time when this story was posted none of the bodies have been recovered and rescue crews are continuing the search overnight.

lanier skater388

Art McMahan’s 388 Skater leaves the Cheeseburger in Paradise raft-up lunch event during Friday’s festitivities. Photo by Jason Johnson

Matt Garland, who owns a 40-foot Skater, was following McMahan when the accident occurred and was the first person to jump in the water in an attempt to aid his friends.

“The boat was running about 200 yards ahead of us when we saw it flip,” Garland said. “The water was a little rough and they were making a slight turn when it went over. The accident was extremely violent. When we got our boat stopped, I immediately dove in the water and swam under the boat, which was upside down, to see if anyone was still in it. There was debris everywhere. It’s just such a tragedy.”

According to Beau Renfroe, one of the organizers behind the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run, Saturday’s poker run is going to happen as scheduled, but they are asking all participants to maintain a 60-mph speed limit during the event.

Renfroe, who owns a 36-foot Skater, was clearly shaken up since he was friends with all four people in the boat.

“We’re slowing things down tomorrow and calling it a memorial run in honor of Art, Melissa, Anthony and Tammy,” Renfroe said. “We’re asking everyone to keep all of them in their hearts and thoughts tomorrow. We’re going to miss them all dearly.”