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Boating accident on river takes life

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By Angye Morrison

A Blountstown resident was found in the Apalachicola River Monday morning, near the area where a boating accident took place.

Jefferie Rector, 28, had been missing since Saturday afternoon after he and his passenger, 29-year-old Mark Hamilton of Marianna were thrown from the 14-foot aluminum boat they had borrowed from a relative of Rector’s.

Two fisherman fishing near the Jackson County Port Authority found the body. Hamilton was rescued by Havana resident Larry Hooper, who was also boating on the river. Hamilton suffered only minor injuries.

The accident was thought to have occurred a mile south of Chattahoochee.

According to reports, the men attempted to navigate around a buoy while headed north on the river. As the vessel made a sharp turn and hit a wake, both Hamilton and Rector were ejected from the boat. Neither was wearing a life jacket.

According to a statement given by Hamilton, the boat circled “wildly” and struck Rector, who disappeared under the water shortly afterward.

Rector’s body has been turned over to the medical exzminer’s office in Panama City.