A 7-year-old was among four killed when high waves and violent winds capsized the boat they were in. With seven passengers aboard, the accident caused injuries to the other three occupants.
According to The Weather Network, the boat was sailing six miles north of the Bear Lake Marine on Monday when a “very violent wind storm” hit the area, Rich County Sheriff’s Office said. Bear Lake is a massive body of water covering 112 square miles in Utah and Idaho.
Authorities said that Lance Capener, 46 and a doctor from Utah, along with his wife, Kathy, 42, their two daughters and three of the girls’ friends were aboard the ski boat when the accident occurred. The group was reported missing at about 6 p.m.
Rescue operations took place for at least two hours in severe weather conditions. Rescuers searched for Lance and others for at least two hours as waves rose to as much as 10 feet, according to Mike Wahlberg, Garden City fire chief. The conditions were “about as extreme as it gets,” he said.
Lance died at the lake, Utah State Parks Lt. Eric Stucki said. His daughters, Kelsey, 13, and Kilee, 7, and their friend, 13, were transported to the Salt Lake City hospital but were pronounced dead early Tuesday.
According to The Seattle Times, Kathy and her daughters’ friends, Tiffany Stoker and Tylinn Tilley, both 14 years old, were taken to the hospital in the northern Utah city of Logan. Tiffany and Tylinn were released from the hospital on Tuesday, Stucki said.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the sheriff said that the speed of the winds had escalated to 76 miles per hour when the boat capsized.
In another accident reported at Utah Lake, located almost three hours south, two people were recovered from the water on Monday night after strong winds had flipped their boat. Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that both of the occupants were wearing life vests and were unharmed.
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