BRUNSWICK, Ga. – One of two boaters from Waycross were rescued Monday afternoon after a private fishing boat capsized in Fancy Bluff Creek has died, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
A U.S. Coast Guard crew that responded about 1:40 p.m. to a capsized 17-foot boat about a half-mile from the Sidney Lanier Bridge pulled one victim from the water. Three good Samaritans who were on the water as part of the Golden Ray salvage crew found the second boater unconscious in the water. That man was given CPR and both victims were taken to Coast Guard Station Brunswick, where rescue personnel were waiting.
Thomas Shaw, 80, died at a hospital, according to DNR. George Faison, 72, was treated for hypothermia and released Monday night, according to DNR.
Faison told News4Jax he was a longtime fishing buddy of Shaw, who everyone knew as Junior. Faison said the boat’s anchor line became wrapped around the propeller and the boat began to sink.
“I didn’t know boats could go down that fast,” he said Tuesday. “From the time we realized that water was coming in, I would say five minutes from there, the boat was under.”
In an emotional interview, Faison said the rescuers did everything they could to save his friend.
“I give my heart and soul to them,” Faison said. “Those were some fine gentlemen. Fine. They did everything they could, everything. Fella took off his clothes and jumped in the water to try and save Junior.”
Faison said he had fished with Shaw for 30 years.
“He was just a nice all-around fellow and you couldn’t find nobody better than him,” Faison said. “I’m going to miss him very much.”
Friends of Shaw knew of his love for fishing.
“We were just saddened, but one thing we could say was that he was doing what he loved,” Minnie Dotson said. “That was something that he loved was to Fish.”