A summer outing in Utah’s Bear Lake turned deadly for a group of family and friends when the boat they were travelling in capsized. All seven people aboard the boat were thrown off and fell into the frigid waters of Bear Lake. Four did not survive. The people who died in the Utah boat tragedy have been identified as 46-year-old Lance Carpenter, his daughters Kelsey Capener, 13, and Kilee Capener, 7 and their friend Sierra Hadley, 13. Three other people who were on the boat were rescued and have been hospitalized. These include Kathy Capener, Lance’s wife and family friends Tiffany Stoker and Tylinn Tilley, both 14 years old.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the Utah boat tragedy occurred on Monday after high waves and violent winds kicked up on Bear Lake – which spans over 112 square miles. The boaters were reported missing by 6 p.m. on Monday following which a rescue operation was launched to look for the missing group. The capsized boat and the three survivors were finally found after a two-hour search. The rescue operation was hampered by bad weather and choppy waters. According to reports, the weather took a turn for the worse in the evening with wind gusts of up to 51 mph being recorded by the National Weather Service. The storm produced giant waves in the lake which led to the boat tragedy.
All the seven people onboard the capsized boat were wearing life jackets. However, with the waters in the lake dropping to 53 degrees Fahrenheit, they faced serious hypothermia risk. The survivors spent a harrowing two hours in the frigid waters before they were located and rescued, said Mike Wahlberg, Garden City fire chief. He added that the conditions he saw in the lake on Monday were “about as extreme as it gets.”
According to Fox News, Lance Capener had passed away by the time the rescuers reached him. The three children died later at a Salt Lake City hospital where they were flown into – confirmed Utah State Parks Lt. Eric Stucki.
The surviving members of the Capener family issued a statement on Tuesday in which they remembered the sisters as sweet and bubbly.
A few other boats were also in the lake when the weather took a turn for the worse. While there were no injuries reported, another boating accident was also reported from the Bear Lake on the same day. Two people who were in the lake at that time were pulled out of water safely after the huge waves overturned their sailboat. Earlier this year, the body of a missing woman was also found in Bear Lake.
[Image Via The Houston Chronicle]