NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Virginia authorities say preliminary evidence indicates that a boat was overloaded when it sank in the James River, killing two North Carolina men.
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission identified the victims as 52-year-old Philip Earl Smallwood and 51-year-old William T. Smallwood Jr., both of Windsor, North Carolina.
Three other people on the boat suffered minor injuries.
The accident occurred Sunday afternoon near the Monitor Merrimack Tunnel. The commission said Monday in a news release that the 1975 Manatee’s engine failed and it was then swamped.
Newport News assistant fire chief J. David Barrick says in a news release that several victims were holding on to ropes thrown by bystanders when firefighters arrived at the scene.
Virginia Marine Police are investigating the accident.
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The hurricane missed the region, but heavy rain is still expected.