‘A Tragedy’: Deadly Boat Crash on Lake Winnipesaukee Leaves Community Heartbroken

Locals say it's not unusual to be on the water this late in the season, but that this is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous it can be

It was a tragic weekend on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire after search crews recovered the bodies of two boaters involved in a crash.

The tight-knit boating community is heartbroken as the investigation continues into exactly what happened.

"Real good folks, it's a tragedy, there's no other way to explain it," resident Jonathan Wixson said, calling it the worst crash he can remember since three people died in an accident on the water back in the 1970s.

"It's very tough, very tough," Wixson added.

New Hampshire Marine Patrol received a distress call just after 6 p.m. Saturday, and crews found a boat adrift not far from the Meredith town docks.

The passenger on board was suffering serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

The male driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was dark, and somber," Wixson said about the search.

During the initial investigation, authorities say they found debris from a different boat.

Shortly after, they received a report of a missing boater off nearby Bear Island, prompting an all-out search for a second vessel.

By Sunday morning, crews located that second boat and the body of the driver submerged in nearly 50 feet of water.

Wixson, like others in the area, was devastated by the discovery.

"We're going to miss them," he said.

The female passenger in the first boat is expected to survive.

State police say they'll publicly identify the victims on Tuesday, at which point we expect to learn more about what led up to the crash.

Wixson said the three people involved were all well-known Bear Island residents, and the second victim was a beloved member of the fishing community on the lake.

"Just an all-around great guy," Wixson said.

Locals say it's not unusual to be on the water this late in the season, but that this is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous it can be.

"The dark conditions and the cold weather, all of those things added up to a perfect storm," said Cody Brown, one of the managers at the Goodhue Boat Company right next to the Meredith Town Docks.

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