Police: The three victims from a capsized yacht on New York's Long Island Sound are children

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (AP) - Police say three bodies pulled out of New York's Long Island Sound after a yacht capsized on the Fourth of July were all children.

The bodies of the 12-year-old boy and two girls, ages 11 and 8, were recovered from the boat's cabin.

Twenty-four other people were rescued, and were treated and released. Police say some but not all passengers onboard the 34-foot boat had been wearing life jackets.

Preliminary causes for the accident "could be a combination of the weather and a wake from another vessel," said Nassau County Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lack. He said investigators will be looking at possible overcrowding on the vessel.

Nassau County Police Det. Lt. John Azzata says alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

The first body was found shortly after the 911 call came in at 10:10 p.m. T he two others were found later inside the yacht.

Passengers had been watching a legal fireworks display when it capsized.

The National Weather Service said a thunderstorm moved through the area of the boat accident at around 10:30 p.m ., and winds never exceeded 10-15 mph.

A boater told Newsday he saw the yacht turn right and then tip over after it was hit by a wake. "It was like in slow motion," said Sammy Balasso of Oyster Bay. "All of a sudden, a lot of bodies were in the water."

His nephew, 15-year-old Frankie Barbone of Bayview, said the waves almost came up over the yacht.

Balasso said he put the spotlight of his 38-foot speedboat on the Silverton and then threw all the life jackets he had with him into the water. He said he rescued 20 people who were later taken to the shore in police boats.

"Everybody was panicking," Balasso said. "People were saying things like 'Why?'"

The boat remained under water on Thursday. Police said it sank in 20 feet of water but drifted southeast and was sitting in about 60 feet of water.

Print this article Back to Top