In the wake of a tragic Fourth of July boating accident off Long Island, in which three children drowned, a U.S. Senator now wants stricter regulations for all recreational boats, no matter how big they may be.
All recreational boats should be required to display their passenger limits, urged U.S. Senator Charles Schumer today. Schumer, who represents New York in the U.S. Senate, urged the Coast Guard to take action after the Kandi Won, which may have been been carrying more people than it could handle, capsized on July 4.
"In memory of the children we lost on that awful day, we can take some simple steps to educate and warn boat owners and their passengers how many people a vessel can safely handle," said Schumer Sunday.
Currently, only boats under 20 feet long must post a sign with maximum passenger count and weight load. Larger boats, those longer than 20 feet, are exempt from the requirement.
Twenty-seven people were aboard the Kandi Won when the craft was taken out to watch the July 4th fireworks. The 34-foot yacht flipped over and sank in Cove Neck, Long Island, a wealthy enclave that juts into Long Island Sound.
"It doesn't make much sense that we require capacity limits to be posted for mostly everything from ballrooms to classrooms, and boats under 20 feet in size, but not recreational vessels over 20 feet," said Schumer.
According to the New York Post, safety experts have said that the boat was overcrowded.
Sunken boat raised
FBI divers and Nassau county police raised the sunken yacht from the bottom of Oyster Bay on July 11 to investigate the cause of the tragedy that killed 7-year old Victoria Gaines, 12-year old David Aureliano, and 11-year old Harlie Treanor. The children were trapped in the cabin when the boat overturned.