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Pro anglers injured in boat wreck during tournament

As the FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake in northern Alabama came to a close on Sunday afternoon, professional angler John Cox was involved in a single-boat accident.

“I was just poking along, moving between pockets as I waited for some spawners to move into one of my primary areas,” Cox told “I was running somewhere between 40 and 50 miles per hour — I wasn’t driving recklessly whatsoever—and I began to slowly steer to the left and the entire boat turned a 180 and ejected my marshal and me into the lake.”

The force threw his marshall, who serves as an onboard monitor, in this case 2014 Forrest Wood Cup co-angler Champion Brian New, into Cox, sending both individuals into the 52-degree water.

As bad luck would have, New had just suffered a broken collarbone a few weeks earlier while becoming pinned underneath a car while changing its oil.

“When we went into the lake, the boat just kept going and turning circles,” Cox told “I was wearing my kill switch and it did shut the motor off immediately, but I guess the momentum from the accident caused the boat to keep going for a bit. It could have been much worse had I not been wearing a kill switch.”