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Published: Tuesday, 9/15/2009

N.Y. boat operator drowns in lake where Toledo-area tourists died


LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. — Police say a tour boat operator drowned himself in the same lake where 20 tourists perished in the capsizing of one of his company's boats four years ago.

Six of the tourists were from the Toledo area.

Warren County Sheriff Bud York says divers recovered the body of 44-year-old Matthew Quirk of Queensbury on Saturday from Lake George, 50 miles north of Albany.

The death was ruled a suicide.

Mr. Quirk's family owned the Ethan Allen, a tour boat that capsized in October, 2005, with 47 mostly elderly passengers from Ohio and Michigan onboard.

The Quirk family's company, Shoreline Cruises, recently settled lawsuits by families of 17 victims for an undisclosed sum.

The Toledo-area women were friends from the Bedford Senior Center and were on an autumn foliage tour of New York and Vermont that was organized by a Trenton, Mich., senior center.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators believe the 40-foot Ethan Allen was rocked by the wake of a passing boat, or multiple boats.

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