By, Associated Press Writer
LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. – A seemingly ideal day of sailing along a calm but busy mountain lake turned abruptly tragic Sunday when a tour boat carrying a group of senior citizens overturned, killing 21 people and injuring dozens more.
The glass-enclosed Ethan Allen was carrying tourists from Michigan on a fall foliage tour when it capsized shortly before 3 p.m. The accident on Lake George may have occurred when the boat was hit by the wake of a larger vessel, Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said.
The 40-foot boat was carrying a tour group from the Trenton, Mich., area, and was sailing just north of the village of Lake George, a popular tourist destination about 50 miles north of Albany in the Adirondack Mountains. With calm waters, clear skies and temperatures in the 70s, it seemed perfect boating weather.
U.S. Rep. John Sweeney who talked with survivors at the hospital, said the boat flipped in about 30 seconds, giving victims no time to react. The sheriff said none of the passengers was able to put on a life jacket.
Adult boat passengers are not required to wear life jackets in New York, but boats must carry at least one life jacket per person.
Patrol boats that reached the scene within minutes found other boaters already pulling people from the water. All passengers had been accounted for within two hours.
Twenty-seven people were taken to a hospital in nearby Glens Falls. Some suffered broken ribs and others complained of shortness of breath. Seven survivors were to be admitted, hospital spokesman Jason White said.
He said the hospital had received 21 bodies.
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