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1 dead, 1 hurt in boat wreck

A Florida man who was working as a contractor on the Quantico Marine Corps Base was killed in a boating accident on Aquia Creek late Saturday, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

John Gregory Atherly, 50, of Coral Springs, Fla., was pronounced dead on the scene, Lee Walker, spokesman for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said on Sunday.

An autopsy was to be conducted.

A 41-year-old woman from the Stafford County area was also on the boat when it crashed about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, officials said.

Walker did not have details on her identity but said she was treated at a local hospital and released.

Atherly and the woman were riding in a 19-foot Chaparral ski-type boat that is powered by a gasoline engine, Walker said.

Witnesses saw the boat heading out of Aquia Creek toward the Potomac River at a high rate of speed and then strike the No. 10 channel marker at the entrance to Aquia Creek, Walker said.

The boat was damaged but not destroyed and was towed to shore, he said.

Investigators spent Sunday at the scene.

Stafford fire and rescue units responded at 10:35 p.m. on Saturday with Boat 5 from the Brooke station arriving first at 10:49 p.m., Stafford Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Mark Doyle said.

Units from the Aquia, Widewater, White Oak,

Falmouth, Mountain View, Stafford and Quantico fire and rescue stations in Virginia responded on Saturday, plus personnel from Charles County, Md., Doyle said.

Walker said the man and woman were friends. He said it hadn’t been determined where they had launched from.

He said that boats traveling at night are required to use lights and that people piloting them after dark need to take extra precautions because of reduced visibility.

“It’s always a dangerous time to be boating at night,” he said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972