N.Y. Boat Owner Could Face Fine as Low as $25 in Deadly Capsizing

October 4, 2005

Sunday’s boat capsizing of the Ethan Allen on New York’s Lake George, resulting in the deaths of 20 elderly tourists, may result in a fine as low as $25 for the boat’s owner. The owner could be fined for failing to have enough crew members aboard the vessel.

The captain, 74, who survived the accident, was reportedly the only crew member on board when the boat overturned. The passengers were a group of senior citizens who were riding in the 38-foot boat, which was out on a fall foliage tour of the region.

On Monday, New York officials suspended the operating certificates for all five tour boats run by Shoreline Cruises after it was determined that one crew member was aboard. Commercial boats in the state that have between 21 and 48 passengers on board are required to carry two crew members.

The Ethan Allen was taken from the lake late Monday night and taken to a county airport, where National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators were to try and discover why the vessel capsized. One report said a large wave resulting from a passing vessel may have flipped the boat.

The passengers also reportedly were not wearing life jackets at the time the boat capsized.

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