Four people from Ulster County died in a boating accident on the Hudson River yesterday, and two more people barely escaped. The accident was horrific enough to make the papers across the state.
News accounts report that six people were riding in a motorboat near the eastern shore of the Hudson River near Tivoli at 4:30am yesterday when the boat crashed into a concrete piling 10 to 15 yards offshore. One man, 26-year-old John J. Uvino of Saugerties, was thrown from the boat and drowned, according to the New York Times.
After the crash, the motorboat sank, pulling three of the passengers down with it. Those three passengers who drowned were 27-year-old Robert P. Macarthur, 26-year-old Deena C. Cordero, and 41-year-old Jay J. Bins, all from Kingston.
Two people -- 23-year-old Joseph J. Vehnick of Kingston and 27-year-old Jessica K. Hotaling of Hyde Park -- survived the accident by swimming to shore despite serious injuries, according to various news reports.
The New York Times' report describes how Vehnick fought through pain and darkness to find a telephone in a barn to call 911:
In the darkness, Mr. Vehnick found a barn with a phone inside and called 911, the [Dutchess County] sheriff’s office said.
“It was obviously an emergency situation, and he was doing whatever he could to find a phone,” Lieutenant Watterson said. “I believe he could walk, but he was in a great deal of pain.”
The Times reported that alcohol bottles were found on the boat. The paper also reported that the registered owner of the boat was Arthur Fiore of Kingston, who didn't return phone calls last night.