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Suffolk County Boating Safety Law Signed Following Tragic July 4 Boat Accident

Photo of Victoria Gaines, who died in July 4 boating accident, Oct. 11, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Photo of Victoria Gaines, who died in July 4 boating accident, Oct. 11, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

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GREAT RIVER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed the Safer Waterways Act into law Thursday, just months after three children died in a Fourth of July boating accident in the Long Island Sound.

The new law requires operators of boats to take a safety course and have the certificate displayed on board the vessel.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Eight-year-old Victoria Gaines, 11-year-old Harlie Treanor and 12-year-old David Aureliano were trapped in the boat’s cabin when the yacht capsized, authorities determined.

Victoria’s mother said she applauds this new law, but said it is just the first step.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank the Suffolk County legislature for acting quickly in the signing of this law, only three months after our accident,” Lisa Gaines told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “We would then like to move this law up the ladder to the state and federal levels and we would like to see the Coast Guard embrace this fully, as we need their support and cannot do it without them.”

pic Suffolk County Boating Safety Law Signed Following Tragic July 4 Boat Accident

Lisa Gaines looking at a photo of her daughter Victoria, who died in July 4 boating accident, Oct. 11, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Gaines said she would also like to see more regulations for boat operators.

“Capacity limit law, continued education and certification, enforcement and penalties. I am not only speaking for my daughter but I am speaking for Harlie Treanor and David Aureliano who also died on that night,” Gaines said.

Victoria Gaines died a day before what would have been her ninth birthday.

The children were trapped in the cabin of a 34-foot yacht called the Kandi Won when it flipped and sank on July 4 following a fireworks ceremony in the waters off Oyster Bay on Long Island.

Fellow boaters helped rescue some of the other 24 passengers from the water and brought them to shore where they were taken to the hospital.

Aureliano’s uncle was behind the controls of the boat when it sank.

The new law only impacts Suffolk County. New York State only requires a boating safety course and does not license boat operators.

Do you think these regulations should be implemented at the state or national level? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…