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October 24, 2014

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1 woman dead, 2 missing in Lake Powell boat crash

KANAB, Utah — A Utah man who was driving a motorboat on Lake Powell with 13 people aboard apparently became distracted by some of his young passengers before he hit a houseboat and flipped his watercraft, deputies said.

A 57-year-old woman died, while two other women, ages 22 and 29, are missing in the water after the accident Thursday morning near Dangling Rope Marina in southern Utah. Crews planned to continue searching Friday for the women, whose names haven't been released pending notification of family.

Most of the people aboard the motorboat were family members from northern Utah, deputies said. Nobody on the houseboat was injured.

It's not uncommon for boaters to venture out early in the morning on the smooth waters of Lake Powell, which is a popular houseboating destination, said Kane County sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge.

The distracted boat driver apparently tried to swerve when he noticed the moving houseboat but hit the front corner and overturned his vessel.

All of the six children aboard were wearing life jackets, officials said. The motorboat driver and an 11-year-old girl were airlifted to a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz., while a third person was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Alldredge said a National Park Service dive team worked throughout the afternoon and early evening Thursday to search for the missing passengers and planned to resume the operation Friday. Water in the area is about 400 feet deep at the crash site, and crews may use a remote camera and sonar equipment to search the depths, he said.

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