Coast Guard: Woman killed in boat wreck off Fishers Island was from Connecticut

08/20/2012 12:40 PM |

The body of a Connecticut woman was recovered Monday morning from the wreckage of a 50-foot-long pleasure boat that sank off the north shore of Fishers Island Sunday, officials said.

The woman, Mary Patenaude of Pomfret, was one of 10 people aboard the boat according to the Coast Guard and was originally reported missing after the sinking.

The boat, named Priceless and based out of Westerly, R.I., sank in waters 40-feet-deep about 2:30 p.m. after it struck Pulpit Rock about a quarter mile north of Clay Point, said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jeff Janaro.

The nine other passengers were plucked from the waters by Good Samaritans, according to Petty Officer Jeff Murphy.

According to Lt. Janaro, there isn’t a “blanket rule” for maximum occupancy on boats, with each individual boats having an approved limit set by the manufacturer and approved by the Coast Guard.

“Ten people on a 50-foot boat is not uncommon,” he said.

A “large response” of local fire, police, and coast guard crews searched the area  for the missing woman using helicopters, a coast guard patrol boat, and divers, according to coast guard officials.

By 7 p.m., divers had located the Priceless wreck, but low visibility and dwindling daylight forced the helicopter and diving teams to call off the search for Ms. Patenaude. Patrol boats continued to search the area during the night.

The search resumed Monday morning, when divers located the body of a woman inside the sunken boat shortly before 8 a.m., Lt. Janaro said.

The body was confirmed to be of the missing Connecticut woman, earlier reported as Ms. Patenaude.

New York State police are currently investigating the sinking, while the Coast Guard will determine whether or not to raise the wreck.

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