Investigation Begins In Deadly Boat Collapse

The investigation into the cause of a deadly Long Island boat collapse moved forward after authorities recovered the Kandi Won, a 34-foot yacht, seven days after the boat capsized off the Long Island shore, killing three children. Victoria Gaines, 7, David Auerliano, 12, and Harlie Treanor, 11, died after the boat overturned on the way back to shore after a Fourth of July fireworks show.

During an interview with the Today Show, Lisa Gaines said her daughter, Victoria, was playing cards in the cabin of the boat with the other two victims. She believed the cabin was the safest place for them as the boat returned to harbor.

Gaines said the boat capsized very quickly, sending all 27 passengers into the water.

“It was very fast,” she said. “The boat started to lean and it didn’t recover, and it just went over. I don’t know if we slid off or fell off. I don’t remember.”

Gaines credited her 12-year-old son Ryan with saving her life. After the boat capsized, he grabbed her and helped her swim to a floating chair.

“I was going under,’’ she said. “I don’t swim so he grabbed me. I heard, ‘I got you mom,’ and I grabbed on to him and he helped me swim to a chair that was floating before people got us out.’’

Once in the water, Gaines said she couldn’t see anything but began desperately crying out for her daughter.

“I was just screaming her name to see if she came up because I know she was below us. I was screaming her name just to see if anybody would yell out that they had her.’’ NY Post, 13 July 2012.

Two of the children were wearing life jackets. Gaines is not sure if the boat had lifejackets for all passengers. An investigation into the capsize is ongoing. The captain has been quoted as blaming a large wave that hit the boat shortly before it overturned.