Update: 3 Children Killed as Boat Capsizes

Night cruise to watch fireworks in Oyster Bay Wednesday turns deadly when boat sinks with more than two dozen aboard.

Three children died when a boat carrying more than two dozen people capsized late Wednesday night after a fireworks show near Oyster Bay.

Nassau County Detective Lt. John Azzata said Thursday that a boy and two girls, ages 12, 11 and 8, died after the 34-foot Silverton cabin cruiser began sinking about 10 p.m.

Others on the boat were rescued by people from the more than 100 boats nearby and emergency personnel.

“Divers had to get in, recover the bodies and get out safely,” Azzata said of the dramatic efforts as the boat, which had sunk in about 21 feet of water, drifted into waters 65 or 70 feet deep. “ The boat is sinking and drifting the whole time,” he said.

The three children were identified as David Aureliano 12, , 11, and Victoria Gaines 8. They were found inside the cabin.

"The boat could have sunk for many reasons," Azzata said. There were reports that a wake from another boat may have capsized the craft or that overcrowding could have been a factor. There were 27 people onboard.

Azzata said the boat had recently been purchased but did not have more information. Azzata, chief of the homicide squad, said the boat sank between Lloyd Neck and Centre Island.

Nassau Police public information officer Vincent Garcia said the department did not have the ability to raise the boat but that the Coast Guard or other agency would have to bring it to the surface and haul it to Bay Park for examination.

The accident occurred a couple of hundred feet from the opening to the Long Island Sound, near the entrance to Oyster Bay and the harbor.

Emergency personnel included Town of Oyster Bay bay constables, New York Police Department scuba divers, Suffolk County Police Department scuba divers, Atlantic Steamer Volunteer Fire Department and the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard Public Affairs Office said that two 25-foot rescue boats were sent out to Oyster Bay Harbor after they received the call at 11 p.m. from a Good Samaritan.

The boat was berthed at the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club on Centre Island, not far from the site of the capsizing on the northern shore of Oyster Bay.

In a statement, Commodore William R. Demslow, Jr., the club's president, issued a statement:

"Any boating accident that results in injury or loss of life is a tragedy. The Sewanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club has always stood ready to help boaters in distress especially in events as these. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who suffered, especially for the loss of the children."

The yacht club would provide no further information, including who on the doomed vessel had been a member of their club.

Azzata made a point of noting that all permits were in order for the fireworks show, sponsored by Cablevision  chairman Charles Dolan, who annually puts on an Independence Day show at his home in Cove Neck. 

Along the Oyster Bay waterfront Thursday afternoon there was unofficial speculation to official silence.

Many beach goers and even lifeguards at Theodore Roosevelt Park, overlooking Oyster Bay's west harbor, had heard of the previous evening's tragedy and trying to come to grips with why so many people were aboard a vessel that size. None said they had any direct knowledge of the event. Television news crews were preparing for remote reports from the waterfront; News trucks lined the parking lots.

There were no firefighters at the Atlantic Steamers Marine Division, which is based at the boat launch just west of Roosevelt Park. The Marine Division was one of the rescue teams involved in the operation.

Although bay constables employed by the Town of Oyster Bay were involved in the search and rescue efforts, the town declined to comment on the tragedy or their role in the operation. Spokeswoman Phyllis Barry said the town was referring all questions to the Nassau County Police and would have no further comment.

Harlie was a Huntington Station resident, and Victoria was scheduled to start third grade at a Washington school in the fall.

Rich H July 09, 2012 at 10:14 PM
new guy July 09, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Bk your out of touch. I can't even read your entire post. NO there's NEVER been too many children in my Truck and NO there's NEVER been a time when I had a few drinks and drove with my kids in my truck. I really hope your not the family spokesman. After those two moronic statements I had to stop reading your post. Comparing a single child too many in a truck to having SEVENTEEN too many people in a boat. Where's your logic. Also the family members don't have to read "the patch" so that fixes that.
John from Kings Park July 10, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I don't see the need for you to pardon your language, Tom when others are attacking you & your family. I personally think Jason needs to get off his self-centered high-horse & actually READ some of the other posts... "Watch your words" Or else what? Don't make me laugh, Mr. Self-Importance...
John from Kings Park July 10, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Where's your "watch your words" for Pazzo's post, Jason? Where's your "watch your words" for Douglas' post, Jason? Can you say "double-standard"? I'll be waiting for either an answer you'll never give me, a deleted post, or yet another "banning". Self-righteous hypocrite...
John from Kings Park July 10, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Where's your "watch your words" for Jeff's post, Jason?
John from Kings Park July 10, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Where's your "watch your words" for Rich's post, Jason?
John from Kings Park July 10, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Where's your "watch your words" for Hometown's post, Jason?
new guy July 10, 2012 at 02:15 AM
John I'm on my phone and can't reply directly to your post, so please tell me what's wrong in my post. I respond to people based on what they have posted to me.for BK to say I and others should be ashamed of our selves is just ridiculous. Was it when I used the very bad word "stupidity" or when I called his logic "moronic"? I see your on a mission tonight, no need to include me. Thanks. Please John copy and paste the offensive parts of my posts.
John from Kings Park July 10, 2012 at 02:25 AM
I'm not singling you out, Hometown, I'm just proving a point with the wannabe moderator, Jason over there. It seems others can attack the poor guy's family without a problem in his hour of grief but when he rebutes or retaliates, it's "watch your words"? I personally think Jason has a lot to learn about moderating a message board WITHOUT the double-standards & maybe should come down off his self-important high horse until he does learn what he needs to learn... I apologize for using you as an example. There were much worse examples than yours in here...
new guy July 10, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Thank you John.
John from Kings Park July 10, 2012 at 02:31 AM
No problem, dude. We cool?
Pazzo July 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM
John from Kings Park, my post does not contain profanity. What's your problem?
christine July 10, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I'm confused. Why would it be impossible to get out in the boat capsized? and if they did get out.. Why would they not want a life jacket? I don't know much about this stuff. I work in safety awareness and would like to know this stuff to pass it off to the correct people.
John K. Massaro July 10, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Christine - I can only assume when the boat is upside down & filling up with water as quickly as this one apparantly did, it can get very confusing in the rush. There's a pretty good chance these poor children panicked & simply couldn't find the exits in time. There could be plenty of factors involved. Were they below deck sleeping at the time? If so, they might have gotten confused in the onrush of water. Have they ever been on this boat before? I believe the article states somewhere that the boat was fairly new to it's owners. There's a good chance they just didn't know the layout of the boat well enough to make their way out upside down, no less...
christine July 10, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Thank you John e boy. That does clear some stuff for me. Yes. The media did say that they were new to the boat. Tragedy all around. I hope there is something can be learned from this horriable accident. Maybe an escape hatch from the roof of the cabin? Like you see on a jet, with a pull cord?
John K. Massaro July 10, 2012 at 05:09 PM
No problem, Christine, glad I could shine some light on it for you. I was actually just thinking - How about a sealable emergency escape hatch in the HULL of the boat? Opens outwards in case of capsize, this way the pressure of the water would keep it closed if the boat is floating upright & someone accidentally triggers the hatch, but can be easily (or maybe even automatically) popped open when the boat reaches a certain unsafe angle?
Timothy Hughes July 10, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Yes, heaven forbid someone be forced to take responsibility. Don't play the blame game. Jeez. Quit asking so many annoying questions.
christine July 10, 2012 at 06:00 PM
John E Boy. You may be on to something. Look up farm tractor's and thier recent updates regarding safety on new machinery. Look on NYS DOH. What you mentioned just may work.
BK13 July 10, 2012 at 06:28 PM
It's "you're" out of touch, not "your" out of touch. Also, how about the occasional punctuation (or even spelling words properly)? More of the dumbing down of America, I guess? Now it's 17 too many on the boat? Is that the official number now? BTW, I was posing hypothetical questions to try and make dim bulbs such as yourself understand there are 3 sides to every story. You also seem to have reading (and spelling) disabilities, because I didn't ask if you drank and drove with your kids in the truck, just you personally. You are either a poor reader or avoiding the question. I wish we could all be as perfect as you (well, except for the spelling and punctuation) and never make a poor decision. Ever. I applaud you for never having a drink and getting behind the wheel. Ever. Once again, you miss the point. I am not defending the actions of anyone here, just trying to explain this guy isn't a monster with malicious intentions. He's just a guy (or guys) who made a bad decision. It happens to everyone. I still stand by my original statement of having an issue with judgemental knee-jerk people who weren't even there running their mouths and crucifying this poor bastard without all the facts. Show some class, you have been alerted that family members are on here. They are probably dealing with way more pain than you can imagine or have every experienced. So go back to your perfect life and sit in judgement of all others. Thanks for playing.
John K. Massaro July 10, 2012 at 06:42 PM
When all hope is exhausted & you know you've lost the battle, always resort to pointing out bad grammar. The last-chance desperation move of the defeated to make themselves feel just a slight bit of victory, the "hail-mary" pass of message boards, if you will...
BK13 July 10, 2012 at 07:02 PM
LOL John. BTW I didn't lose anything! Never say die! I explained my point after I commented on bad grammar. I just hate people who can't read or write. English speak me good!
John K. Massaro July 10, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Me fail English? That's un-possible! Well at least you have a good sense of humor. Some people get very touchy in here when you try to bust some nuts...
new guy July 10, 2012 at 07:17 PM
BK manufacter said its a 10 person boat. 27 on board, you do the math. yep my grammar aint no good......KP high school drop out....but i bet i can buy and sell you all day. :) feel better about yourself now? johns right, when the arguement is over its all about the spelling.
BK13 July 10, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Yeah that's what I get for trying to play devils advocate and not jump on the "KILL HIM" bandwagon. I just hate seeing someone cooked over an open flame in front of family by people that weren't there and don't have all the facts. The bottom line is that this isn't going to turn out well for anyone. Families are ruined, lives have been lost. Hopefully, if nothing else, stricter regulations will come out of this to prevent another tragedy such as this from happening (if, in fact, it turns out the boat was overloaded). I believe in trying to look at events logically and without emotion and I really don't care for public hangings.
BK13 July 10, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Hey John, isn't the only thing worse than pointing out bad grammar is claiming you have more money than someone? BTW, I can pretty much guarantee you that you don't. I also noticed you didn't answer my questions directly. Now run along and make me a sammich! Kings Park, well that explains a lot. PS - you spelled argument wrong.
John K. Massaro July 10, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Let's get back on subject, okay? Before they ban us all (again). Besides, my Dad can beat up both your Dads... :)
Janeen Dunn August 01, 2012 at 02:24 PM
couldn't have said it better. I would like to add that there must have been at least one adult near those children being that it was such a small boat. How come not a single adult saved at least one of them? I tell you why. it was 4th of July and most of them I am sure were drunk.
Janeen Dunn August 01, 2012 at 02:44 PM
It is a crime. Not all crimes are intentional ;) But a crime none the less due to the highly poor judgement made not only by the owner and captain, but for anyone who had any clue the boat was over crowded (in which I'm sure most of them knew. I mean how do you expect a 34' boat to be suitable for 27 people?) And as I said, how was their not a single adult near the children who could have possibly saved them? with such a small boat there had to be at least one adult near them. I am not saying losing a child is not punishment in itself. But would you be saying the same thing if a drunk parent drove and killed kids in their car?
BK13 August 01, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Janeen you should learn more about what happened before making a wild and hurtful accusation. Boat flipped over in the dark, the kids were trapped in the cabin below. Ironically, they were put in the cabin for safety reasons since it was late and they would be "safe" and couldn't fall off the boat in there. So sad. Additionally, the adults knew they were in there and they, as well as others, kept frantically diving to try and get the children out of the cabin but unfortunately the boat was drifting and sinking and it only takes a few minutes. You can't even imagine the chaos in the water, in the dark, boat upside down.
Pat & Erin August 01, 2012 at 04:49 PM
So now that August has arrived...what's going on with this investigation?? Boat has been hauled and on land for a few weeks...why is there nothing to report - whether charges will be filed or not...quite interesting.


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