After an 18-hour search, the US Coast Guard suspended efforts to recover the body of a man who went missing in Shelburne Bay near Red Rocks Park on Tuesday, in an incident in which another man drowned.
On Thursday, South Burlington Police identified the two men as
The two men were in a small power boat with two women and two juveniles in a section of Shelburne Bay west of Red Rocks Park when they encountered windy conditions. The women and juveniles made it to shore or were rescued by first responders.
Meanwhile, crews continued their search Wednesday evening for a 52-year-old New York man who is presumed dead after he dove into Lake Champlain near Alburgh Dunes State Park and never surfaced. That man, identified as Dennis Rabideau of Mooers Forks, New York, was with four other adults on a boat that departed Tuesday afternoon from Chazy, New York.
A mixture of weather, boating inexperience and failure to use a life jacket appeared to contribute to the tragedies.
Chief of Colchester Technical Rescue Michael Cannon says, on average, a dozen people drown each year in Vermont. “Drownings occur on very warm, nice sunny days on some type of lake in very good weather,” said Cannon.
Cannon said Vermonters who swim or boat should plan ahead. “If you’re on a boat, you should set up a float plan,” he said. “You should tell someone that you’re going. When you’re going, when you’re coming back. You should have adequate safety devices on the boat.”
These devices include life jackets, fire extinguishes, and something most boaters might not think of – radios.
“Always bring a radio,” U.S. Coast Guard Executive Petty Officer Thomas Barossi said. “Everyone has cell phones which is great. But radios work just as well and are very helpful to the coast guard in locating you.”
Barossi says weather is a common problem for boaters on Lake Champlain.
“It comes in – maybe people are swimming, (maybe) the boat gets pushed off, their anchor gets pushed away from them. They got to swim to an island, overturned sailboats, we do get a lot of that here,” said Barossi.