The son of Shoreline Cruise owner James Quirk drowned Saturday in the same water that took the life of 20 passengers aboard the company’s boat, the Ethan Allen, on Lake George in 2005.
The body of Matthew Quirk, 44, of Queensbury, son of James Quirk, owner of Shoreline Cruises and Restaurant, was found submerged in water in the area of the Southern Basin by scuba divers around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call at 3:30 p.m. Saturday about an unmanned boat floating on the lake. Scuba divers found Quirk about two hours later.
It was believed that Quirk took out a boat from the Shoreline Marina and that he was alone.
Kevin Griswold, an employee at Shoreline Cruises, read a statement from the company Sunday afternoon.
“We at Shoreline appreciate everyone’s compassion and prayers after yesterday’s tragic loss and we appreciate everyone’s consideration of the Quirk family’s privacy during this painful time,” Griswold said.
The Quirk family has owned property in the village of Lake George for more than 25 years and Shoreline Cruises and Restaurant has always been operated by the Quirk family, Griswold said.
The company now operates two major cruise boats on Lake George, the 85-foot Horicon and the 115-foot Adirondac, along with a dozen or so rental boats and the restaurant.
It has been nearly four years since the Ethan Allen, which was owned by Shoreline Cruises, capsized in Lake George, killing 20 senior citizen passengers from the Michigan area who were aboard the boat on a leaf-peeping tour.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the boat capsized because it was overcrowded with 47 passengers and the captain, even though it was certified to carry up to 50 passengers and two crew members.
At the time of the accident on Oct. 2, 2005, the Ethan Allen’s passenger limit was based on an average passenger weighing 140 pounds. Since the accident the Coast Guard has recommended increasing the standard to 185 pounds per adult.