Quantcast

Police: Smugglers involved in deadly boat crash - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police: Smugglers involved in deadly boat crash

Agent Wade Laughman Agent Wade Laughman

Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation - August 19, 2010

An illegal smuggling operation has claimed the life of a man from northern New York. Charles Cole, 20, of Racquette Point, Akwesasne, N.Y., died when two boats collided early Wednesday morning. But six other men survived because of the quick response by the U.S. Border Patrol.

"They heard a collision between two vessels apparently, then some cries for help," said Agent Wade Laughman of the U.S. Border Patrol.

According to investigators, the violent crash occurred near Snake Island on the St. Lawrence River just after midnight Wednesday. One of the boats split in half. A total of six people were rescued from the water-- half of them by border patrol agents who were on routine patrol 300 yards away. The other three were rescued by other first responders. None of them sustained life-threatening injuries. But the body of Charles Cole was recovered from the river about an hour later.

"I think the actions of those agents definitely saved the lives of those individuals, they probably would have drowned; late at night, dark out there, water is cold in the St. Lawrence," Laughman said.

Tribal police announced Thursday one of the boats involved was transporting cases of cigarettes. U.S. Border Patrol agents had spotted the boats prior to the crash, but they were not attempting to stop the boats because there was no indication of illegal activity at the time and the vessels were on the Canadian side of the river. Agents say nighttime travel is common in the area and that routine patrols are needed on the St. Lawrence River around the clock.

"They are out there every night and during the day, basically to just observe cross-border activity, to intercept smugglers, narcotics, humans, aliens, money drugs, you name it," Laughman said.

Police will not say whether Cole was on the boat that was transporting the cigarettes. They also declined to say whether the boats were traveling together or if this was a random accident.

Matt Henson - WCAX News

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.