Husband loses wife in tragic boat accident at Pine Flat Lake

Deputies say the boat hit a rock before it sunk

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. - A deadly start to the long Memorial Day weekend. One woman is dead and a man is injured after their boat sinks at Pine Flat Lake. The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is investigating the scene. Officials say the boat is still under water. Deputies say the accident happened on Pine Flat Lake near the mouth of the Kings River.

Deputies say the survivor and victim were married and in their 70s. Authorities spoke to the husband at CRMC to gather more information. Preliminary reports say the boat hit a rock before sinking.

Authorities continue to search for the location of a sunken boat at Pine Flat Lake where one woman died and one man was hurt. Sergeant Rob Dutrow says two parties took two separate boats on the water Friday afternoon but the first group lost sight of the the couple behind them.

"When their partner boat did not arrive, is when it kind of stirred everything up and everyone started looking," said Dutrow.

Dutrow says the witnesses came back to the docks to look for the missing boat but the man and woman weren't there. Authorities say a fisherman spotted the victims and tried to help.

"When it was determined that he was couldn't do much for them other than go get more help is when he left and came to the docks for us," said Dutrow.

"Could be operator error. Could be several factors. The boat could have broken down, could have malfunctioned," said Dutrow.

Just hours before the accident, rescue crews trained on the same lake for the first boating day of the season. Dutrow says there's no reason the water levels could cause this tragic accident.

"Unfortunately, being in charge of this unit now for three years, I see way too much of this," said Dutrow.

Deputies say crews found the survivor and victim on the shoreline. An autopsy is scheduled to the determine the cause of death of the woman. Crews will be back out on Pine Flat Lake Saturday morning to find the missing boat.

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