Other fishermen had left the lake when the ice grew soft and began breaking up that warm winter but Pelkey felt there was little danger. His heavy ATV later broke through the ice into about 20 feet of water. After a lengthy search, his body was located under the ice, and an autopsy showed he died of drowning.
Horror on Lake George
The worst disaster in recent local history occurred Oct. 2, 2005 when the tour boat Ethan Allen capsized near Cramer Point with 47 elderly sightseers on board. Twenty of those passengers died and even after an intensive investigation, it is still unclear to many just exactly what caused the accident. It is believed by investigators the Ethan Allen was carrying too much weight when it tipped over. Some have claimed the boat was rocked by a wave caused by the wake of another vessel.
Fifteen lawsuits have resulted from this disaster and this year a federal judge declined to dismiss a lawsuit against the only remaining defendant in the case and a trial date, set for this month, has since been postponed indefinitely.
My records indicate the only person in recent years who drowned in Lake George and his body was not recovered was Edison J. Arias, 23, Bronx, who drowned in the summer of 1993. He jumped into the water from a 28-foot cabin cruiser to help a woman he knew who was having difficulty swimming in the cold wind-whipped water south of Three Brothers Islands not far from Bolton Landing. She made it back to the boat and he disappeared in 78-foot-deep water, never to be seen again. It goes without saying he was not wearing a life jacket.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.