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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Buyer Beware

This is hard to believe, and yet I swear it happened just as I describe below:

I followed up on an ad for two Dyer 40' passenger boats. These were listed in the classified section of an industry paper called, Boats and Harbors, the bible of commercial boat shopping published in Knoxville, TN.

Anyway, the guy I spoke to on the phone told me the boats were originally built to take passengers on trips in the Chesapeake. The vessels were later purchased by a tour company in Lake George. I asked about the layout and the guy suggested I come to New York to see for myself. I asked about the cabin, and he said the hulls were in excellent condition, that if I came up he would meet me and go through both vessels with me. Sounded good, until a little birdy started singing in my head.

Dyer 40s. On Lake George in New York. Two of them. Does the name Ethan Allen ring a bell? Let me refresh your memory:

Ethan Allen boating accident

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On October 2, 2005, the tourboat Ethan Allen capsized on Lake George, in Upstate New York, at 2:55 PM.

Ethan Allen is raised by investigators after capsizing and sinking 70 ft underwater.
Ethan Allen is raised by investigators after capsizing and sinking 70 ft underwater.

The Ethan Allen was a small glass-enclosed boat operated by Shoreline Cruises. The boat was carrying 47 passengers, mostly seniors, of which 20 died. It is believed that the boat capsized due to waves caused by a larger cruise ship (The Mohican). However, tourists at a nearby camp reported that the Mohican passed by the area where the Ethan Allen sunk 20 minutes later. The boat has been raised by investigators.

It was confirmed that weather was not a factor in this accident, as the skies were blue and the wind was calm. The 20 people that died are believed to have died from drowning, not hypothermia, as the water in the lake was 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The injured people were sent to Glens Falls Hospital via Hague, Warrensburg, North Warren, Moreau and Lake George Ambulances.The boat was carrying a tourist group, the Trenton Travelers, based out of Trenton, Michigan. It has been confirmed that all the passengers were from Michigan and Ohio.

Not once in the conversation did the guy mention to me the history of the boat. You would think it would be something important to mention given that I had to travel a total of about 700 miles to see it. Can't wait for this guy to call me back.


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