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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Boat bursts into flames and sinks in Lake Simcoe Sunday.

Six people escaped unhurt from a boat that burst into flames and sunk in Lake Simcoe Sunday.

At about 4 p.m., York Regional Police, along with officers from Ontario Provincial Police, South Simcoe and Barrie were dispatched to an area of the lake off of Keswick to find a 1976 Trojan 36-foot vessel completely engulfed in flames, York police spokesperson Const. Gary Phillips said.

Two men and four women, including a family from Brampton, escaped the boat before it sank, he added.

The owner, a 79-year-old man suffered minor smoke inhalation, but did not require medical treatment, according to Const. Phillips.

Police later learned the family had set off from Crate’s Marina, destined for Lefroy.

However, the captain felt the engine begin to bog down while passing through weeds and, at the same time, smelled smoke in the engine area, Const. Phillips said.

The cause of the fire has been traced back to the engine of the boat — which had been serviced last week — overheating, he added.

The ministry of the environment and the Canadian Coast Guard also became involved in the incident.

It was fortunate no one was hurt in the blaze, Const. Phillips said.

As of Tuesday, the wreck lay about 3/4 of a mile off Old Homestead Road in Georgina.

“We ask all boaters to stay away from the area,” he said. “It’s a hazard to boaters right now.”

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