OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Investigators on Long Island are deciding how to retrieve a sunken yacht where three children were killed in a boating tragedy on the Fourth of July.
A police boat has been guarding the spot between Center Island and Lloyd’s Neck in Cold Spring Harbor Bay where the 34-foot Silverton yacht called “Candi 1” went down in about 60 feet of water just after 10 p.m Wednesday.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports
However Nassau County police told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang it was unclear when crews will be able to start moving the boat. The logistics of raising it are still being explored.
Police are waiting for a vital piece of evidence to answer why the Candi 1 flipped over and expect to start moving the boat by the end of the weekend, Jiang reported.
Mitch Kramer of North Shore Towing, who may assist with the retrieval effort, explained the difficulties to Jiang.
“Numerous challenges, depending where a boat goes down, you have currents, low visibility, you have all different kinds of debris,” he said. “Sometimes boats are sitting upside down, right side up, filled with mud.”
Crews will likely use airbags or cranes to lift the boat before hauling it to land. Kramer could not give a time frame for how long it takes to salvage a boat the size of Candi 1 and said for each case, it depends on the conditions under water.
The 27 people on board had just finished watching the Dolan family’s Fourth of July fireworks display when the boat suddenly capsized and began sinking.
Twenty-four of the passengers from the ship were rescued by other boaters in the area, but the three children killed, 11-year-old Harlie Treanor, 8-year-old Victoria Gaines and 12-year-old David Aureliano, were found trapped inside the submerged cabin.
“Unfortunately, in the dark, what probably happened is the children became completely disoriented, they couldn’t find the hatch that would’ve led them to safety and there is the root of the tragedy,” U.S. Coast Guard Chief of Staff and boating safety expert, Vincent Pica, told 1010 WINS.
Gaines would have turned 9 years old Friday. On Facebook, her mother wrote: “I simply do not know how to go on from here. My heart is destroyed as is the lives of our families.”
Treanor’s mother wrote on Facebook: “The wake just came over the boat and it just flipped.”
According to CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan, the Gaines family has also hired an attorney, Michael Della.
“We’re trying to figure out who, if anyone, is responsible,” Della told McLogan. “That particular boat has a maximum occupancy of 10.”
Marina owner Rich Valicenti said how the passengers were positioned will probably tell the story of what happened.
“If everyone is in one area, the boat is going to lean. If a wave hit it just right — it’s going to roll over. It’s possible,” Valicenti told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider on Friday night.
Sal Aureliano, the uncle of the 12-year-old, was at the helm of the ship. He said that there was no obvious wake, collision or even severe weather that would cause the vessel to overturn.
“The boat just started to turn. It was an accident,” he told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff on Thursday. “There were two boats on either side of me,” he said. “That was it.”
The Treanor and Aureliano families said they have been avid boaters all their lives, but will never go into the water again, CBS 2’s McLogan reported.
Once the yacht is lifted out of the water, authorities will then take it to the Marine Bureau. The Coast Guard is also investigating to see if all regulations were followed, including if there were enough life vests on the ship.
The Coast Guard, meanwhile, said they are continuing their efforts to make boating safer for everyone on the water.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports
Master Chief Terry Lathrop of Station Jones Beach said Friday they’ve seen a lot of boat owners this year who don’t have enough life jackets on their boats. New York State law requires a life jacket for every person on board a vessel.
“We are out there six or seven hours a day inspecting vessels and there should be a wearable life jacket for every person on board,” Lathrop told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “Under 13, if they are in an open part of the boat, are required to be wearing a life jacket.”
Lathrop said if the boat does not have the correct safety measures, including life jackets or fire extinguishers, then the operator must immediately come to shore and fix the problem before going out again.
“Yesterday, we pulled over a boat with six people but they only had three life jackets,” he said.
Please share your thoughts below…