Johnson County
Sheriff's Office
Clarksville, Arkansas
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Bass Boat Hits Barge, 1 injured

A 57 year-old Mississippi man was injured at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October 29 after the bass boat he was operating struck an anchored Tug/Barge on the Arkansas river. The accident happened approximately half a mile east of the Johnson/Franklin county line in the river channel. According to investigators, Stephen Britt, age 57 and James Allen, age 67 of Mississippi were traveling west with Britt operating a 2003 Triton bass boat with a 200 h.p. motor. Because of the foggy conditions on the river, Britt was operating the boat via GPS on a course he laid the previous day. The operator of the 918 ft. barge, the Concordia, had pulled to the south bank of the river and anchored because of the foggy conditions on the river. As the bass boat approached the barge using the GPS navigation, the bass boat struck the port side of the tug, throwing Britt into the water. Allen was able to pull Britt from the water and another passing boat took Britt to the Spadra Park boat launch in Clarksville where he was picked up by E.M.S. and transported to Johnson Regional Medical Center. Britt was admitted with non life-threatening injuries. Allen was not injured as was no one on the tug. Both men were fishing the "Fishers of Men" bass tournament from the Russellville/Dardanelle area and both were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident. The bass boat was totaled in the accident. The water temperature at the time of the accident was 64 degrees and the air temperature was 30 degrees. The accident was investigated by Sgt. Ben Sisk of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission with assistance from the Johnson County Dive Team and Logan County Dive Team.