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Three Die, One Missing After Boat Capsizes

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Old 05-08-2004, 06:44 PM
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Unhappy Three Die, One Missing After Boat Capsizes

TIVERTON, R.I. (May 8) - A small boat carrying six people home from a family outing capsized in Mount Hope Bay during the night, the Coast Guard reported. Three people died, and one was missing.

Officials said a change in the weather might have contributed to the accident.

One survivor was 14-year-old Christopher Duarte, who swam to shore and had a resident call authorities about 1 a.m. Saturday. Christopher's father, Allen Duarte, 35, was rescued and hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.

Police Chief Thomas Blakey said authorities were still searching for the boy's aunt, Kelleigh Ouellette, 24.

The dead were the boy's mother, Edwina Duarte, 34; a cousin, James Duarte, 23; and Ouellette's boyfriend, Richard Doehler, 39. All the passengers were from Fall River, Mass.

"This is a family excursion that went awry, and it's a tragedy," Blakey told The Associated Press.

Mount Hope Bay is a lobe of Narragansett Bay, with shoreline in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Blakey said the boat capsized between Fall River and Tiverton, near the point where the bay meets the Sakonnet River, which extends to the south.

Coast Guard Capt. Judy Keene said the tide carried the boat and the victims southward to the area around the Sakonnet Bridge.

Blakey said the group went out in the 17-foot boat during the day Friday and went to Swansea, Mass., to meet relatives. They left Swansea after dark and were headed back to Fall River when the boat capsized, Blakey said.

The time of the accident was not immediately clear.

The National Weather Service said the wind increased from about 9 mph around 10 p.m. at nearby Newport to 21 mph, with gusts to 30 mph, by midnight. The sky was clear and the temperature was in the upper 50s to low 60s. The Coast Guard said the water temperature was about 50.

"I'm sure weather conditions were a factor. ... Everything is open," Blakey said. "We're looking at weather, equipment, human error, everything."

Don Dettlinger, an assistant harbor master for Tiverton, said the boat may have been overloaded.

"People don't heed weather warnings," Dettlinger said. "It's risky. Why those people were out there last night is beyond my belief. I wouldn't be out if I were on my boat."


05/08/04 15:16 EDT

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press
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Old 05-08-2004, 07:09 PM
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god bless
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Old 05-08-2004, 07:37 PM
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God Bless
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Old 05-08-2004, 08:29 PM
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Oh that's just awful! How tragic for the family and friends. May God be with them....
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Old 05-08-2004, 11:49 PM
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God Bless to all involved,our prayers are with you.
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:39 AM
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that sucks.
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Old 05-09-2004, 07:27 AM
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Truly tragic. I read the story in our paper this morning. Said the boy swam for more than an hour to get to shore. That's amazing in those temps.

Still, you have to wonder why they would put themselves in that predicament to begin with.
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Old 05-09-2004, 08:33 AM
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Boating is recreation, nobody looks at it as dangerous. Thats exactly what makes it dangerous.

God bless the poor family.
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macklin
Still, you have to wonder why they would put themselves in that predicament to begin with. [/B]
I was thinking about that too. But it was night (dark) and they probably weren't paying attention to the weather forecast that night. Leave at 9:30 while it's nice out and next thing you know the weather changed on you and you couldn't see it coming.

I'm sure hindsight is 20/20, but there were an awful lot of people on that little boat. Add that to the change in weather (bigger wave size) and it's a recipie for disaster.

I can't even imagine being that young man swimming for an hour wondering if everyone else is okay, but knowing that some of them probably aren't. He's going to have a tremendous amount of guilt. I hope he can move past that and not lose all his self worth and have it haunt him for his lifetime. It's truly tragic.
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Old 05-09-2004, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macklin


Still, you have to wonder why they would put themselves in that predicament to begin with.


That's like saying why would anyone want to do 100+ Mph in a boat I don't think too many people realize what (can) happen.


last year I was at the docks and a guy with one of those wave runner boats had 2 too many kids on board. so he is arguing with the cops saying the weight limit on the boat is much higher and the cop was trying to explain to him that he had too many KIDS on the boat to head out. But this guy didn't understand. he kept saying the weight didn't equal the amount on the sticker on this boat but yet the sticker had listed as having a max capacity of say 6 and he had 8. sad but true some people not just in boating don't take safety first

Last edited by CAP071; 05-09-2004 at 11:25 AM.
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