VIDEO: Marine police say boat was overloaded

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Two people died and three were rescued after a powerboat capsized Sunday in Virginia’s James River.

Newport News assistant fire chief James Barrick told WAVY News the fire department responded to a call of an overturned boat at the end of the VMRC pier around 4:30 p.m. When fire crews arrived, Barrick said several people were in the water holding onto lines thrown in by people on the fishing pier.

Laurie Naismith with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission said five people and a dog were on the boat, a 1975 Manatee, when it sank. Naismith says the boat was overloaded and the boat was swamped after the engine failed.

“There were really too many people for that size boat and according to the witness, the engine cut off and when the engine cut off they couldn’t steer the boat, wind picked them up and kept pushing them and water started coming over and kept coming,” said Naismith.

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