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2 Die After Boat Overturns In Narragansett Bay

Two Massachusetts women died after their boat overturned on a small rocky island in Narragansett Bay early Sunday.

A distress call came in just before 2 a.m. Sunday, said Gail Mastrati, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Management.

Crews from the agency, the Coast Guard and local police and fire departments began a search, and at about 2:45 a.m., the Warwick Fire Department found the boat on a small island known as Despair Island.

The two women were not identified. Mastrati says they were both 23.

Three others — a 25-year-old woman from Massachusetts, a 25-year-old man from Rhode Island and a 27-year-old man from Massachusetts — also were on board and were injured. They were not identified.

The matter has been referred to the attorney general's office. Mike Healey, a spokesman for Attorney General Patrick Lynch, said he could not confirm that alcohol was a factor.

"Given the time of the incident, we'll look at whether alcohol was involved," he said. "I won't confirm that it was."

Healey said investigators consider it an incident, not an accident.

"The purpose of our investigation is to see if a crime was committed. If so, it's not an accident," he said.

However, he said it is too early to call it a criminal investigation.

The Department of Environmental Management described Despair Island as rocky outcropping and is sometimes underwater depending on the tides.

This program aired on May 16, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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