The group of four men - the father and three sons - were traveling on the lake when their boat hit a buoy and overturned about 5 miles west of Sylvan Beach. Police are still trying to determine what caused the deadly crash - at this point they do know that none of the 4 men aboard the boat were wearing life vests.
"It's a difficult part of the lake where it can go from 15- 20 feet, down to less than a foot in some spots," says Rick Johnson, Assistant Chief Sylvan Beach Fire Department.
And the Sylvan Beach Fire Department says this wasn't the first time there was an accident at this cement channel marker - buoy 113.
"We've had problems in the past, nothing to this severity, but we've had accidents in the past where people who are unfamiliar with the territory in that location," says Johnson.
"It's very shallow there, very rocky, you hit the rocks its gonna do a lot of damage to a vessel. It's not soft ground, its hard ground," says Lieutenant James McCarthy, Oneida County Sheriff's Department.
A dive team located the three bodies at 8 this morning in about 15 feet of water. The victims have all been identified. The father, Anthony Aceto, along with his 2 sons, Stephen Aceto and Timothy Aceto were killed. The third son, Anthony J. Aceto is being treated at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Utica for shoulder and rib injuries.
"The big thing is darkness, if anyone's been on the water, its very hard to get your position because of the darkness, the wave action, and it was a little choppy," says Lt. McCarthy.
The Sylvan Beach Fire Department tells me buoy 113 was about this size - now there was intermittent light that blinks on and off throughout the night- but the lieutenant says if the light was turned off, it would be nearly impossible for a boater to see the buoy.
"It's on and off, it's not a steady signal. Nav lights are to be seen not to be seen with so you really have to know where you are," says Lt. McCarthy.
McCarthy says the boat's operator may have been unfamiliar with the lake or distracted by fireworks being set off from shore and didn't spot the buoy in the darkness.
The three men's bodies are at the Oneida County Coroner for an autopsy. Police say the investigation is ongoing and they will release details later today or tomorrow.