Two dead, three missing after pontoon boat capsizes in Kentucky

Witnesses say the boat flipped when it made contact with a work barge on the Ohio River.
By Fred Lambert  |  July 5, 2015 at 5:54 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 5 (UPI) -- Authorities in Kentucky on Sunday continued searching for three missing people after a boat capsized on the Ohio River during the Fourth of July, according to reports.

At least two people -- a 14-year-old boy and a man -- died when the 24-foot pontoon boat flipped over near Louisville on Saturday night.

A further three children and one adult were hospitalized in unknown condition following the incident. Three other boaters are unaccounted for.

Witnesses say the pontoon boat capsized after it made contact with a work barge, sending all nine occupants into the water. Police are still investigating what caused the accident.

"At this point we are speculating that the boat may have been pinned against that staging barge and at some point capsized due to the current," CNN quoted Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick as saying.

Rescue teams used air surveillance, bloodhound teams along shore and boats to search for the missing boaters, though the river current has prevented the use of divers.

Frederick noted rescue workers found six life jackets when they recovered the boat and that it is unclear who was wearing a vest and who was not.

"The issue is if someone has a flotation device or if they were able to latch on to something that would keep them afloat there is potential ... they could be further downstream," CNN quoted Frederick as saying. "There is also the tragic issue that they may have drowned, and it would be difficult to locate them."

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