OCTOBER 16, 2016
Two men have been killed after they fell out of a 36-foot catamaran on the Potomac River Saturday, according to Maryland Department of Natural Resources police.
The crash happened about noon near Fairview Beach in King George County, Virginia.
Police have identified the boaters as James A. Melley, 49, of Buford, Georgia, and Garth Thomas Tagge, 61, of Atlanta. Melley was driving the boat, and Tagge was the throttleman, police said.
A spokesperson for police said the boat involved in the crash is capable of going 190 mph, and police are trying to figure out if the men were racing the boat.
"MD NRP did not sanction a race, but it looks like it occurred at the Potomac River Radar Run," the spokesperson said in a statement.
It is not known at this time how fast the boat was going when it crashed. The boat has an open cockpit, the spokesperson said.
The victims' bodies will be taken to the medical examiner's office for autopsies as police continue to investigate.
2 men from Georgia killed when racing boat flips on Potomac River during the
Potomac River Radar Run
By Martin Weil October 15 at 9:21 PM
Two men were killed Saturday in the Potomac River south of Washington when their high-powered racing boat flipped over and ejected them as they were taking part in a time trial.
James A. Melley, Jr., 49, of Buford, Ga., was operating the 36-foot offshore racing vessel in the river off Fairview Beach, Va., in Charles County, Md. waters, said Candy Thomson, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police. The other man killed was Garth Thomas Tagge, 61, of Atlanta, Thomson said.
Late Saturday morning the vessel was nearing a trial point on the river at “very high” speed when the bow lifted. The boat rose from the water, and the men were thrown out, Thomson said. A Charles County Fire and Rescue boat, brought them on board and began CPR.
Resuscitation efforts were unavailing, and both men died about 12:40 p.m., Thomson said.
The men were taking part in an annual event called the Potomac River Radar Run, said Guy Booth, part owner of Tim’s II restaurant, which is near the time trial site.
Boats run a mile-long course, one by one, to be clocked by radar to determine which is fastest, Booth said. Speeds Saturday reached as high as 170 mph, he said.
Participants “know the dangers,” he said. It wasn’t done for money, he said, but “for pride.”