Authorities identify boaters whose bodies were recovered one week after crash on Ohio River

Police said the male victim’s body was discovered Sunday morning in the waters of the Ohio River in Brandenburg by a boater.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One week after a boat collided with a barge on the Ohio River, the Meade Co. Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the final body believed to be a missing male boater has been found. 

Authorities said the body was discovered by a boater in the Ohio River about 300 yards from the 2700 block of Long Branch Road around 9:30 a.m. Sunday in Brandenburg. It is about 10 miles down river from where the boater went missing from the Greenwood Boat Docks in Jefferson County. 

“At 9:32 this morning the Meade County 911 center received a call from a boater on the Ohio River stating that he had found a body in the river,” Deputy Sheriff Clay Sailor, with the Meade Co. Sheriff’s Office said. “He had told me he had come out boating on the river for the purpose of looking for the individual that was still missing from the boat collision from Thunder Over Louisville.”

Louisville Metro Police also responded to Brandenburg, along with Ky. Fish and Wildlife.

“From where the body was discovered at, it was shallow enough for the divers from Louisville Metro to go in and retrieve the body,” Sailor said.

The family of the missing boater was contacted and the Meade County Coroner’s Office identified him as 25-year-old Zachary Martin of Jefferson County.

“He was identified by the clothes he was wearing, the items on the person and a picture shown to the family,” Sailor said.

A female victim’s body was found in the Ohio River about 30 yards from the shore and about 200 yards from the Salt River around 2 p.m. Saturday. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified her as 22-year-old Madison Lane Yates of Coxs Creek.

This wraps up a week of search efforts after a boat the two were traveling in with 5 others collided with a barge near the Greenwood Boat Docks in southwest Jefferson County on Apr. 17.

Hayden Spencer, 20, was one of the five rescued that night but he later died at the hospital. His cause of death has not been released.

The investigation, led by the Coast Guard and LMPD, is ongoing and no cause of the crash has been determined yet.

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