A father and two of his sons died in a boat accident on Oneida Lake late Thursday night.
Agencies from multiple counties became involved in a search effort after a submerged boat was found around 10:45 p.m Thursday. Rescue crews have recovered the bodies of three boaters.
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says the boat sank in about 15 feet of water, five to six miles from the shoreline in Sylvan Beach. Police say none of the boaters were wearing life jackets and they were headed back to shore.
The boat struck a cement channel marker, number 113, and was found underwater on the southeast side of the lake near an area known as Messenger Shoals.
Lt. Jim McCarthy says the channel marker had a blinking light on it, and the light was working at the time. Despite that, Lt. McCarthy says they can be hard to see; others have with lights have been hit before.
"At night it can be hard to see if you aren't familiar with the area. You really need to have a chart or GPS to help you," says Lt. McCarthy.
One man who is familiar with boating on Oneida Lake believes the market light the boat hit should have been visible. "If it's lit up, then you're not going to hit it," said Tom Bensley, who frequently vacations on Sylvan Beach. "Everyone knows boating at night you have to have your lights."
Another man vacationing on Sylvan Beach was shocked to hear about the accident. "It's really devestating for this type of community, this area," said Justin Roorda. "Everyone's looking to have fun. And just something like this - it's devastating. It's just really bad."
Police say the three deceased boaters were found Friday morning, and a fourth occupant was rescued Thursday night. The identities of the victims were released late Friday morning.
66-year-old Anthony Aceto, of Utica, and his sons Stephen Aceto, 41 from Tampa, Florida, and Timothy Aceto, 33 from Deerfield, died in the crash. Anthony J. Aceto, 39 from Whitesboro, survived and is currently at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica where is being treated for a broken shoulder and broken ribs.
Officials say Anthony J. Aceto was pulled from the water by friends who were out with the Aceto's in another boat.
The three deceased men are at the Oneida County Coroner for an autopsy.
Several fire departments, dive teams from various agencies, and two helicopters responded to the scene.
Rescuers set up a search area around the boat crash and stayed until the bodies were located about 6:30 Friday morning.
"We do realize we have a job to do, we put our emotions aside to focus on the job at hand. We do our best, we do what we can and once the job is complete we let the emotions set in," said Rick Johnson from the Sylvan Beach Fire Department.
Investigators went back out to the crash site on Friday morning to collect evidence.
Investigators are asking that boaters avoid the area until the accident is cleared.