Fatal capsize of a 50-footer

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The body of a woman was found Monday after she was among 10 passengers on a 50-foot pleasure boat with a hull reportedly made of ferro-cement that hit rocks and sank Sunday near Fishers Island, N.Y.

The boat, named Priceless, was kept at the Westerly (R.I.) Yacht Club and is believed to have struck Pulpit Rock, which is about two miles south of Noank, Conn.

The boat reportedly sank in about six minutes in about 42 feet of water. Boaters in the area rescued nine of those who escaped before the vessel went down.

New York State Police will lead the investigation into the cause of the accident.

Click here for a report by The Westerly Sun.

Capt. Jeff Dziedzic, owner and operator of TowBoatUS Mystic, said two of his boats were among the first to respond to the scene, about 12 minutes after the mayday call from Priceless.

Dziedzic told The Day newspaper one of his captains, who is also a certified diver, went into the water in an attempt to locate the vessel.

The diver told him the currents were rough and that he could see air bubbles coming from the boat, meaning that air pockets were filling with water.

Dziedzic said his company responds to about four incidents a year in that area. He said while charts clearly mark rocks in the area people still accidentally strike them.

Click here for that report.

The victim is identified as Mary Patenaude of Pomfret, Conn., wife of the boat’s owner and skipper.

Click here for a report by The Bulletin of Norwich (Conn.) on the reaction in her hometown.