OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — FBI divers and police pulled a capsized boat to the surface Wednesday. It sank on the Fourth of July, killing three children.
The 34-foot Silverton, named “Kandi Won,” was lifted and towed to shore from the murky waters 60 feet below near Oyster Bay. It was to be taken to a Nassau County Marine facility in East Rockaway.
The boat was to be pulled out of the water later Wednesday night, but officials would not say when in order to avoid the media caravan and spectacle.
FBI divers attached straps to the sunken boat below the Long Island Sound and used balloons as lifts, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
The delicate task of raising the doomed craft was successful. The boat was remarkably in one piece — the only apparent damage was a canopy torn to shreds.
Police have said a variety of factors, including weather, possible mechanical problems and overcrowding, may have caused the accident. There were 10 children and 17 adults aboard the boat when it sank.
“We will be looking further into the recommended number of people who should be on this boat versus the number of people who were on this boat along with a myriad of other issues that go along with this incident,” said Nassau County Police Chief Steve Skrynecki.
The recovery resumed Wednesday morning after being cut short Tuesday because crews ran into difficulty securing the boat.
“Hopefully it’s not something that’s inherent in this boat that this could happen to any 1984 Silverton boat,” said Nassau Police Det. Lt. John Azzata. “We’d like to have the boat in as pristine condition as possible. If there is any evidentiary value to this boat, we would like to know about it.”
The boat was to be drained of water to hopefully preserve any evidence of why it capsized. Police were also to check for mechanical flaws and count the number of life vests on board.
The 24 others on board were rescued by other boaters in the area.
Harlie’s father, Kevin Treanor, owns the boat. His attorney, James Mercante, said overcrowding was not a cause of the accident, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
“This is a 34-foot boat. It’s not like it was an 18-foot boat with 27 people on one side. The people on the boat were all distributed evenly throughout the boat,” Mercante said. “We have family members that lost three young children and we’re very interested in determining whether something failed on this vessel or something below the water line.”
He also said there were life jackets for all passengers on board.
Services for the two girls were held Tuesday. Aureliano’s funeral was held Monday.
Following the tragedy, there was a call for better boat safety training amid speculation the Kandi Won was overloaded.
Suffolk County legislator Steven Stern is proposing a new county law to require boater certification through safety courses.
“How many more tragedies? How many more deaths? When is enough enough?” Stern asked. “With this type of safety training being required from all those who utilize Suffolk’s waterways, that we will make them absolutely safer.”
Right now in New York, safety courses are only required for teenaged boaters and jet ski operators.
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