LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. – Authorities closed off a popular bay on an Adirondack lake to boaters Monday, scuttling an annual alcohol-fueled party from being held there a year after a fatal boat crash followed the event last summer.
Dave Wick, executive director of the Lake George Park Commission, said only two boats with people looking to party during what was known as Log Bay Day were turned away by police boats from the tree-lined bay on the lake's eastern shore.
"It seems like the whole thing has come together perfectly," Wick said.
Log Bay Day, held on the last Monday of July for the past 20 years, typically attracted more than 250 boats and as many as 1,000 people to the shallow, sandy-bottomed bay, Wick said.
A vacationing 8-year-old California girl was killed and her mother seriously injured last July when the family motor boat was hit by another boat driven by an impaired man who had spent the day partying at Log Bay Day. The tragedy prompted officials to take steps to end the party, started in the late 1990s by local musicians to give their friends in the local tourism industry a way to relax during the busy summer season.
The party grew over the years as word spread through social media. The scenic bay became jammed with boats and people who left behind human waste and garbage, both in the water and on the shore. As Log Bay Day's popularity rose, so did the number of arrests, with police charging dozens of participants with various violations, including boating while intoxicated.
Last year's Log Bay Day, held on July 25, ended in tragedy. Charlotte McCue, of Carlsbad, California, was killed and her mother, Courtney, was injured when a motor boat slammed into their boat as they returned to a relative's waterfront home after a sunset cruise along the lake's western shore.
Alexander West, a 25-year-old local resident who had spent the day partying with friends at Log Bay, was driving the boat that struck the family's vessel. He was convicted in May of manslaughter and other charges and sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.
Authorities discouraged this year's party by announcing their plans weeks ago in the media. A Warrant County Sheriff's Office dive team held a training exercise in the bay Monday, and more than a dozen police patrol vessels were cruising nearby. A state police plane was being used to spot any efforts to shift the party to another location on the lake.
"It has been good," Sheriff Nathan "Bud" York said. "Nobody's giving us a hard time."