Names Of 2 Friends Who Died In NH Boating Collision Released

MEREDITH, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire authorities released the names Tuesday of two friends who died after their boats collided on Lake Winnipesaukee.

The state police Marine Patrol said initial reports indicated that a 20-foot boat had possibly struck bottom near Bear Island on Saturday night.

First responders found the boat's operator dead, and an injured woman. They have been identified as James Hanson, 76, and his wife, Carmella Hanson, 75, of Meredith. Carmella Hanson was reported to be in fair condition at a hospital.

The patrol found a second boat on Sunday in about 48 feet of water. Divers found a man's body within the submerged boat, identified as Harold Lyon Jr., 84, of Meredith.

Authorities are still investigating what happened but believe the boats collided. The Laconia Daily Sun reports both men were experienced boaters who were on course to make a turn around the Bear Island Post Office dock at the same moment, according to John Hopper, a longtime summer resident there who has written a book about the island's history.

"Part of the shock to have a boating accident like this is, it is unfathomable that it is those two," Hopper said. "Both Jim and Hal were careful, respectful of the lake, they wouldn't be doing anything crazy. To have two such good friends in such a circumstance, there couldn't have been more than four or five boats on that whole end of the lake there, there's just nobody out there."

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