Fishermen who were in the area of the island notified authorities at about 2 p.m. about the wreck of the performance boat, which was said to be traveling in excess of 100 mph when it broke up on the other side of the island from them.
One man was thrown from the boat and managed to swim to the island. The fishermen ferried two Childersburg Fire and Rescue Department paramedics from beneath the bridge to the island. They then took the man and the paramedics to the River Run neighborhood boat launch in Childersburg, where he was taken away by ambulance and later transferred to UAB via helicopter.
Childersburg Fire Capt. Tim Shelnutt said the man’s condition didn’t appear to be critical, but “I felt like he needed to be at UAB” after he was thrown at such velocity, Shelnutt said.
Rescuers gathered on the river banks in both Talladega and Shelby counties and in search boats, but were unable to find the hull of the boat or its other occupant. Boat parts and debris recovered from the water included seat cushions, a cooler, and the boat’s engine cover and fuel tank.
Authorities and onlookers at the scene speculated that the boat may have been a new boat being tested by Revolution Performance Marine, a Harpersville company that makes high-performance boats capable of traveling more than 130 mph.
Tuesday’s search was canceled at dark.
Contact Bill Kimber at firstname.lastname@example.org