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More Information on the Ethan Allen

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Submitted by Peter Allen

My excerpt from "Soundings" article:

The recent Lake George, New York capsize of the tour boat “Ethan Allen” received a lot of press attention. Twenty people drowned in the incident. The current issue (December 2005, page 13, National Edition) of “Soundings” magazine carries an article which starts to shed some light on the reasons for the capsize.

The article notes that the Ethan Allen was built on a Dyer 40 hull. This is a very well-regarded, round-bilged design. "Power boat guru" Eric Sorensen is quoted in the article as saying that the deck of the Dyer 40 is usually 6 to 8 inches above the waterline. Of the Ethan Allen he says: “In this boat, from the photos I’ve seen of it, the Ethan Allen’s deck was level with the gunwale. That’s probably 2 feet higher than the deck is ordinarily.”

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In all the report about the Ethan Allen Accident, I have not heard one word about the culpability of the owner of the large powerboat that caused the large wake which capsized the tour boat. It's my understanding of maritime law, that the skipper of the boat is responsible for the damage caused by his wake. I do not understand why a large powerboat would be doing on a small inland lake to begin with. Most small inland lakes have rules/laws about maximum horsepower allowed. It's my opinion that one extra crew on board the Ethan Allen would have made no difference at all to the outcome of this accident. There would have been one more person in the water trying to escape drowning. However, if all the elderly and handicapped passengers on this tour boat had been wearing life jackets, they probabaly would have all survived. There was no time to pull out the life jackets after the boat began to capsize. Deborah K. Schaefer, Multihull Sailor, Port Clinton, OH11/18/2005 7:27:49 AM
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