The Oneida County Sheriff's office now has the boat involved in Thursday's triple fatal crash on Oneida Lake. It took recovery crews most of Saturday morning to tow the damaged boat to the shoreline. As our Iris St. Meran explains, it may hold the clues to what happened out on the water Thursday night.
SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. -- Sheriff's deputies returned to Oneida Lake to get the boat involved in Thursday's triple fatal crash. Once it was in their possession, the weather made it challenging to tow it back to shore.
Oneida County Sheriff Lieutenant Jim McCarthy said, "We had some strong winds come up. Some wave action. It made it very difficult for us. We worked very hard to maintain our position on the lake. It was blowing us all around."
Deputies said Anthony Aceto, 66 and his sons, Stephen Aceto, 41 and Timothy Aceto, 33, were thrown from their boat and killed after hitting a concrete buoy in the middle of the lake Thursday night. A third son, Anthony J. Aceto, 39, was also on board but was pulled from the water and taken to a hospital for treatment. He is said to be in good condition.
"It breaks your heart. Boating is supposed to be fun and it is a lot of fun. Our hearts break for the family," said boater Tom Van Dresar.
Deputies were assisted by a private company to recover the boat. Aside from the weather, keeping it afloat was another challenge.
Midstate Marine Recovery President John Latham said, "One of us stayed in the boat with it to make sure there's not additional problems. Then we got to the center of the marina here. We had to stop so the boat automatically wants to sink again. So we had to attach another air bag to bring it back up."
There's not much visible damage that you can see to the actual boat. The Sheriff's office said that has to do with the angle of the buoy at the time the boat hit it.
"It has a grade to it. So it's not a sharp edge,” McCarthy added. “When they hit it, it's just like this ramp. Picture this ramp, it's going to be a slide almost is what it would be like so that's why it's a glance blow."
This accident was a blow to this close knit boating community who offered assistance and watched as the boat they were familiar with was towed in. McCarthy suggests all boaters should watch other boats, water conditions, speed and know where you're boating.
The next step will be to inspect the boat. Investigators are still looking into the circumstances surrounding the crash to determine if speed or other factors played a role.