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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 01:44 GMT 02:44 UK
Tourists die in US boat disaster
Rescue boat on Lake George, NY
Police divers and rescue teams took two hours to recover the bodies
A boat carrying elderly tourists on a lake in New York state has capsized and sunk, killing 21 of those on board.

The Ethan Allen, a 12m (40ft) tour vessel, flipped over on Lake George, a resort about 200 miles (320km) north of New York City.

Local police are investigating reports that the wake from a passing steamboat swamped the boat and caused it to sink.

The majority of the 49 passengers on board the Ethan Allen were reported to be Canadians.

Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland told local media that the captain of the stricken boat survived the incident, which happened at about 1500 local time (1900 GMT).

"We believe and we have not confirmed that they hit the wake of one of the larger cruise boats and it overturned and upset the boat and threw the passengers into the water," Mr Cleveland said.

Wheelchair users

The boat was said to be 50m from the shore west side of the lake when it sank.

The Ethan Allen in July 2005
The Ethan Allen may have been swamped by another boat's wake
Lake George, a popular tourist destination in the Adirondack mountains, is 50 miles north of Albany, the capital of New York state.

Some 29 surviving passengers, many of whom were frail, including some wheelchair users, were taken to hospital at nearby Glen Falls for treatment.

Reports suggested the passengers were not wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.

Jim Quirk, director of Shoreline Cruises, which owned and operated the Ethan Allen, described the accident as a tragedy.


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See footage of the lake where the boat sank



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