No Wrongdoing in New York Boating Accident

Sheriff's Department finds no wrongdoing in the deaths of 20 elderly passengers. However, the NTSB has yet to file their investigation.

The Sheriff Department investigation into the accident involving the "Ethan Allen" tour boat, which capsized last fall killing 20 passengers, concluded that neither the vessel's owner nor its captain committed a crime.

There is no reason for criminal charges in the October 2, 2005, capsizing of the tour boat "Ethan Allen," the Warren County Sheriff said Friday. Sheriff Larry Cleveland released the department's 530-page report Friday morning on the accident that threw 48 people into Lake George, resulting in the deaths of 20 senior citizens.

Shoreline Cruises' 40-foot-long "Ethan Allen" was piloted by Richard Paris, 74, a retired state trooper. It was Paris' fourth trip of the day. The tour boat sailed out of Lake George village with a fall foliage tour group of 47 Michigan senior citizens aboard.

The Warren County Sheriff's Office looked into whether there was any intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct that amounted to a crime and submitted its findings to prosecutors. The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to issue its final report, but has said it is examining modifications to the boat that may have affected its stability.

Federal lawsuits have been filed in two states alleging negligence by tour boat company Shoreline Cruises Inc. and Paris, claiming that there should have been another crew member, life vests should have been accessible, the boat was flawed and it was overcrowded.