Safety expert says the boat was overcrowded
Three children died after becoming trapped in the cabin of a capsized motorboat on Wednesday.
A group of 27 friends and family were on the water watching the Independence Day fireworks from Candi I when the 34ft vessel overturned.
Emergency services (pictured above) failed to revive the body of an 11-year-old girl
who was pulled from the cabin first. The other two children, a 12-year-old boy
and an eight-year-old girl, were dead when their bodies were recovered.
Sal Aureliano was at the helm when the Silverton convertible capsized. He told News12 Long Island that he saw two lightning bolts and then a wave hit the boat. “It just turned the boat,” he said. “I didn’t see it. It was dark.”
“The next thing I know, we’re turning, and we just kept turning, and everybody was in the water,” he added. “It was chaos.”
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Officials are considering the weather, overcrowding, the wake from another vessel or a combination of factors.
Phil Cusumano, a safety instructor and yacht captain, told the Wall Street Journal there is no question that the boat was overloaded. Cusumano said he would have limited the number of passengers on that particular boat to six adults.
“27 is just crazy,” he said. “I wouldn’t dream of doing that. I wouldn’t do it at dock, much less take it on the water. It would tip over with the first turn.”
The investigation continues.