It was a moonless spring night on the dark waters of Lake Murray when a boater came upon the aftermath of what authorities say was a drunken-boating collision on the huge lake’s deep waters.
The man, Keith Corley, remained calm that warm May 1 night, but he grew increasingly frustrated trying to get help for two severely injured 20-something girlfriends who would die of head trauma from their boat’s impact with a 23-foot boat named Peacemaker, powered by a 225 horsepower engine.
“Somebody hit this boat, and we need somebody out here now,” Corley tells an emergency dispatcher who is quizzing him about the location of the accident. “There are people hurt bad,” he said, copies of 911 tapes released Wednesday to The State newspaper show. The calls illustrate the isolation of boaters in an emergency situation, even though they are on one of the busiest parts of the lake on a weekend.
Corley knew all four people in the boat, a spokesman for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources said.