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OPP continues to investigate boat collision north of Kingston, Ont. that left 3 people dead

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Ontario Provincial Police continue to investigate a long weekend fatal boat collision on Bobs Lake, north of Kingston, Ont.

Three people, between the ages of 21 and 23, were killed when an open-bow fishing-style boat and a speed boat collided in the Buck Bay area of Bobs Lake on Saturday night, according to Ontario Provincial Police. Five other people, ranging in age from 21 to 44, were transported to a Kingston hospital with injuries.

Divers with the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit searched the water of Bobs Lake on Tuesday for evidence as part of the investigation. The OPP said Tuesday evening the on-site investigation has wrapped up and regular marine traffic cane resume where Buck Bay narrows on Bobs Lake.

"There's a detective inspector that's assigned to this. Now, going forward for the investigation, the underwater search and recovery unit will all do their part, along with the reconstructionist and traffic collision investigators to determine what caused this collision between two vessels," said Frontenac OPP Const. Robert Martell. 

A photo obtained by CTV News Ottawa of the two vessels involved in the crash shows a red speed boat on top of the back of the fishing boat.

Some residents on Buck Bay told CTV News Ottawa on Sunday they heard a bang from across the bay Saturday night, while others thought it was fireworks. 

Neil Liota said Tuesday the community was shocked by what happened. 

"There's people in this community that have been affected, not only the people that are involved in this accident, but in the general population around here. Everybody knows everybody, and to hear of something like this with young lives lost, even if your life wasn't lost, your life has been changed," Liota said.

Liota lent OPP his boat launch when they arrived on scene to investigate. 

"I was going to remove the ramp a bunch of years ago, but we had another incident on this bay, where I said maybe a couple minutes would make somebody's difference in their life. Let's leave the ramp in. And that's why they had access to the ramp. So I'm glad that it's there. And I'm happy that it was used absolutely."

The crash occurred just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised," Ian Gilson, director of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, told Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa at Work with Patricia Boal.

"Accidents happen, especially during this first weekend, the unofficial start of the summer. These collisions are rare, but there are a plethora of other accidents that tend to happen."

Gilson says collisions like this are easily avoidable.

"Unlike a car, when you look at the shape of the bow of the boat when it hits something it's going to rise above – inevitably, people get injured or killed," Gilson said.

"It's really tragic, and it doesn't have to happen. You wouldn't drive your car in a fog or without your light at night at the speed limit for fear that you would run into somebody else, what's the difference with a boat."

If you are boating at night, Gilson says you are required to have the navigation lights on.

"The red and green navigation lights, along with the all-around white light, especially if you're moving, is a good way to understand that there's something else out there," Gilson said.

Three people were killed in a crash involving two boats on Bobs Lake on Saturday night. Bobs Lake is located north of Kingston and southwest of Ottawa.

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Jack Richardson.

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