DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. — Lake news travels quickly to the Whippernock Marina on Lake Chesdin, an establishment that’s been part of the Dinwiddie side of the community for 49 years going on 50. On Saturday, that news was tragic.
“We were all upset about what happened Saturday,” said Barbara Williams, who runs the marina with her husband.
Two boats were traveling around a sharp turn close to Oxford Drive at the same time when they collided, according to officials with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. A total of four boaters were involved in the wreck and two did not survive, officials said.
DWR officials confirmed Monday the surviving boaters were wearing personal flotation vests and the two who passed were not wearing life jackets.
“We really feel bad for the family of the two boys who were killed. We feel bad for everybody. The guy who was driving the boat, I know he feels awful too. yeah, he has to live with this,” said Davis and her granddaughter Kaylin Davis.
The surviving boaters were involved in a fishing tournament sponsored by Whippernock Marina, Davis and Williams said. The tournaments happen regularly during the spring and summer months, a way for local fishermen to build community and have a good time.
“They get together; it’s like a family. When stuff like this happens, even when they don’t know the other person, it’s still, they’re out there doing the same thing; they’re out there fishing with their friends and stuff. On either end, it’s a tragic thing, it’s sad,” Davis said.
The point where the crash occurred is well known to those who know Lake Chesdin well. Many locals consider it a dangerous spot.
“Yeah, especially if they’re both coming around the corner at the same time, they can’t hear one another. If they’re trying to get out of the way and they go in the same direction, it’s like there’s nothing else you can do at that point,” Davis said.
Most people CBS 6 spoke to on Lake Chesdin said they cannot remember a wreck this bad in recent memory despite a large number of boats on the water most summer weekends. The tragic accident also serves as a reminder about how quickly problems can arise on the water.
“It’s a freak accident, but it’s a high traffic area; keep it slow,” Davis said.
“Wear your life jackets,” Williams said.
“Yeah, please wear your life jackets,” Davis continued.
DWR officials said the investigation into the wreck remains ongoing.