Pair of Mass. women die as boat capsizes

Associated Press / May 17, 2010

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PROVIDENCE — Two Massachusetts women died after their boat overturned on a small rocky island in Narragansett Bay early yesterday.

A distress call came in just before 2 a.m. yesterday, said Gail Mastrati, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Management.

Crews from the agency, the Coast Guard, and local police and fire departments began a search, and around 2:45 a.m., the Warwick Fire Department found the boat on a small island known as Despair Island.

The two women were not identified. Mastrati says they were both 23.

Three other passengers — a 25-year-old woman from Massachusetts, a 25-year-old man from Rhode Island, and a 27-year-old man from Massachusetts — were injured. They were not identified.

The matter has been referred to the attorney general’s office.

“The purpose of our investigation is to see if a crime was committed,’’ said Mike Healey, a spokesman for Attorney General Patrick Lynch. “If so, it’s not an accident.’’

However, he said it is too early to call it a criminal investigation.

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