LYONS — The Wayne County Office of the Sheriff Marine Patrol investigated a boat accident on Sept. 7, that sent a 39-foot sailboat to the bottom of the Erie Canal.
The accident occurred when a 39-foot Bavareia sailboat that was traveling west on the canal struck a center bridge abutment. The operator, Frederick B. Cooley, 74, had been steering the vessel around a piece of floating debris when he looked back down the waterway his view of the bridge abutment was blocked by a passenger that was entering the cabin area. When the operator finally saw the abutment, the boat was too close to avoid the collision. The vessel struck the abutment, damaging the hull and allowing it to take on water.
Cooley and his passenger were able to escape before the vessel sank to the bottom.
Deputies were assisted at the scene by the Lyons Fire Department and Canal Authority Personnel.