Saturday, May 25, 2013
The Associated Press
NEWPORT, R.I. — Three women found dead in a submerged car at a Rhode Island shipyard were friends who worked on some of the world's finest yachts, according to a business owner in the luxury boat industry.
A crane lifts a car from the water in Newport, R.I., on Friday. The U.S. Coast Guard said three people were found inside the car, which was submerged for hours in the Newport shipyard.
The car was found about 6:30 a.m. Friday sticking out of about 4 feet of water in Newport Harbor at the privately owned Newport Shipyard. Police believe the driver missed a turn in foggy conditions, and that the car had been in the water for at least several hours before it was discovered.
Authorities identified the women as Jennifer Way of North Kingstown, R.I.; Louise Owen of Wales in the United Kingdom; and Femmetje Staring of the Netherlands. All were 39 years old.
Peter Wilson, co-founder and co-owner of Newport-based MCM, which represents yacht owners, said the three women became close friends while working in the yachting industry.
Way was a yacht manager at MCM, while Owen had been working on the luxury super-yacht Hyperion, and Staring had been working on another yacht, he told The Providence Journal.
"The global yachting community is small, and news such as this travels fast," Wilson wrote in an email to the newspaper Saturday night. "As a result, emails and messages of condolence have been flooding in from every corner of the world. All three women were highly respected in their fields and enormously well-liked. We will miss them all terribly."
"Losing any one of these remarkable women would be sad enough, but to lose all three as a result of this one heartbreaking accident causes devastation of immense proportions," he said in the email.