Posted at: 09/08/2013 11:04 AM
Updated at: 09/08/2013 11:09 AM
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office says a 39 foot sailboat sank in the Erie Canal Saturday morning after hitting a section of a bridge.
Deputies say that crash was investigated by members of the Marine Patrol unit. They say that 74-year-old Frederick Cooley was steering a sailboat traveling west on the canal near Lyons when it hit part of the bridge foundation around 9:55 a.m.
Cooley told deputies that he was avoiding a piece of debris, when he looked back down the waterway, his view of the section of the foundation was blocked passenger. When he finally saw the foundation, he was too close to avoid collision.
The crash damaged the hull of the boat and it began taking on water. The driver and passenger were able to escape the boat before it sank.
Deputies say they were assisted at the scene by Lyons Fire Department and Canal Authority personnel.