Four dead after boat capsizes on Bear Lake

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BEAR LAKE STATE PARK, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Four people are dead after they were thrown into the cold waters of Bear Lake when their boat capsized Monday night.

According to family members, Lance Capener and his two daughters Kelsey and Kylie died. The girl’s friend Siera Hadley also died.

During this time there was a very violent wind storm in the area that caused the boat to capsize.

Utah State Parks officers and Rich County Search and Rescue and other emergency responders eventually located the boat and all occupants were transported to medical facilities.

It was supposed to be a mother-daughter excursion on Bear Lake Monday. But those who were there said it started turning ugly and they were ready to call it a day and started heading for the marina.

Caroline Anderson and her daughter were there too. Her daughter had been on the boat earlier. The girls were taking turns throughout the afternoon. But on the final run Anderson and her daughter stayed behind. The boat with 7 on board headed out one last time.

“We could see that the wind was rocking the boat,” said Anderson.

She said Lance Capener who owned the boat was heading to the marina to dock the boat.

But the boat disappeared and Anderson and others became concerned. At 6:30 they called authorities at Bear Lake.

“We didn’t know if they were in the boat or in the water,” Anderson said. “We did not know”
They waited several hours to hear word of the seven on the boat.

Late Monday night, authorities said all seven had been found in the water. They were taken by medical helicopters to Primary Children’s Hospital. Susan Capener was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center where she remains in serious condition.
Her husband Lance Capener died and their two daughters Kelsey and Kylie Capener also died.

“I think this is a very heroic story,” said Capener’s Brother Mike Capener. “He gave his life to save his wife and go back and save his two children and others in the boat.”
A family member of Hadley said she was barely alive when they found her at around eleven last night.
She and three of the older girls attended Orion Middle School in Pleasant View and a family member said that friendship was seen on the waters.

“I knew that in the beginning the 4 teen-age girls had a hold of each other and a big wave separated them and they weren’t able to get back together,” said Brett Hadley, Siera’s uncle.

He said she died at the hospital. Hadley said a trust fund has been set up to help her family with funeral expenses. Donations are being accepted at any America First Credit Union account # 9076688.

The accident happened around 6:15 Monday night near North Beach on the Idaho side of the lake. Everyone inside the boat was wearing a life jacket, but the water temperature was about 53 degrees.


Late Tuesday, the Capener and Stockdale Family issued the following statement

(Logan, UT) June 2, 2015. On the evening of June 1, during a boating outing on Bear Lake, wind storms and waves caused our boat to capsize. During the search and rescue efforts, while everyone was doing their best to convey what information they heard, the search and rescue crew was focused on the task that really mattered at the time: finding the lost individuals. However, that means that we cannot offer any details for certain about what occurred at Bear Lake during the storm or what occurred during the search and rescue. We respectfully request that you direct any questions about the events to the Rich County Sheriff’s Department.

What we know now is that, as family, we are heartbroken over the loss of our beloved Lance Capener, a local physician, our bubbly and loving Kelsey (13), and our sweet, angelic Kilee (7). We are also heartbroken about the loss of one of the family’s dear friends and our love goes out to that family.

We are grateful to the rescuers, the first-responders, the transport teams, and the medical staffs that have been involved with helping all efforts during this ordeal. These men and women have shown tremendous skill and compassion. We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that has been shown by ward members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

As this time, we request that the media respect our privacy and allow us the time and space needed to grieve and comfort each other through this ordeal. Thank you.

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