BODY OF LANCASTER MAN RECOVERED AFTER BOATING ACCIDENT SUNDAY ON BUCKEYE LAKE|
COLUMBUS, OH - Searchers today recovered the body of 24-year-old John Finney, of Lancaster, who apparently drowned in Buckeye Lake when a 16-foot fishing boat, in which he was a passenger, capsized shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Finney’s body was recovered at 1:25 p.m. near the location where the boat sank, approximately 200 yards offshore from the North Shore Ramp at Buckeye Lake in Licking County.
Joe Leppert, 24, of Rockbridge, was operating the boat. Leppert told investigators that shortly after going out on the water Sunday night, the boat’s hull ruptured causing the boat to sink in a matter of seconds. The two men were not wearing life jackets at the time of the accident. The accident remains under investigation.
Finney’s death marks the third boating-related fatality in Ohio this year, just weeks into the recreational boating season. On April 8, two Mercer County teenagers drowned when their small fishing boat capsized in windy conditions on Grand Lake St. Marys in northwestern Ohio. Neither victim was wearing a life jacket when that accident occurred.
Ohio joins with other states in observance of National Safe Boating Week May 21-27 to help increase public awareness about the importance of wearing a life jacket when boating. Approximately 85 percent of all boating-related fatality victims in the U.S. are not wearing a life jacket when their accidents occur.