PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- The owner of a boat involved in a fatal crash on Narragansett Bay says two mechanics who worked for him were on an unauthorized "midnight joyride" when they slammed into a rocky outcropping known as Despair Island, killing two women aboard.

Richard Cromwell tells The Associated Press on Monday that the two mechanics had worked for years for his company Maritime Solutions, a small boat engine repair shop in Portsmouth.

He says they took the 22-foot Sun Ray without permission, launching from Portsmouth.

Cromwell says they hit the rocks so fast the boat went airborne and flipped.

Cromwell says neither mechanic was an experienced boater.

Officials say the two women who died were from Massachusetts. Their names have not been released. Three other people were hurt.