Divers Find Sunken Tour Boat - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/3/05-Lake George, New York

Divers Find Sunken Tour Boat

Investigators are still baffled tonight by what caused a sight-seeing boat to capsize Sunday on New York's Lake George. Twenty tourists died, most of them were elderly vacationers.

Part of the probe centers on whether there should have been a second crew member on board in addition to the captain. Tonight, divers have raised the sunken vessel from the lake bed. 

The Ethan Allen rose from the bottom of Lake George today. Within a day of the tragedy that took twenty lives, the National Transportation Safety Board is on the ground and investigating. 

Mark Rosenker, Acting Chairman National Transportation Safety Board the Captain was held in high regard, said to be a veteran of the lake. He described a giant wave that swamped the tour boat. But autorities say no large boats were in the immediate vicinity.

Wayne Bennett, of the New York state police said,  "If you are familiar with the water, those wakes take a long time to travel and move. There were a lot of people on the lake, a beautiful day out there."

Forty-seven passengers, mostly senior citizens from Michigan, climbed on board for what was to be a peaceful cruise.

But according to survivors, within a matter of seconds, everything and everyone was in the water. Jeane Siler of  Trenton, Michigan is a 76-yr-old survivor. Her heroic behavior prevented the tragedy from being any worse. The Rahal family saved at least a half dozen lives and recovered two from the water who didn't make it. 

Some of the passengers were using walkers as they boarded. The coroner says hypothermia and drowning are the two leading causes of death though other medical conditions may have taken the lives of those who were already frail.

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