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Divers Find Body of Sixth Boater

July 19, 2001

BETHLEHEM, Ind. (AP) _ Search crews found the body of a boater Wednesday, four days after he and five others died when their fishing boat collided with a line of barges on the Ohio River and sank.

The small boat was spotted downriver from where it slammed into a towboat pushing 14 empty barges in pre-dawn fog Sunday. The crash occurred 25 miles northeast of Louisville, Ky.

Scrape marks found on three barges led authorities to speculate the boat was pushed beneath the barges.

The towboat captain told authorities his vessel’s radar did not show the boat before the collision. Police say the towboat was operating properly in a commercial channel and was traveling just several miles an hour.

Five of the boaters were found Monday and Tuesday. Divers used an underwater camera to find the body of Benny Burgan, 34, aboard the vessel.

Coast Guard Cmdr. William Marhoffer said investigators will try to re-create the events leading to the collision to learn what happened.

``The boat was relatively intact so we think we’ll be able to gather some physical evidence and clues from it,″ he said.

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