No Charges in Fourth of July Boat Tragedy

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office announced Thursday that there will be no charges filed in the tragic Fourth of July boating accident that claimed the lives of three children last year.

Rice’s office determined “that no criminal charges are appropriate,” but they will continue to investigate the incident in order to issue what the district attorney’s spokesman called “comprehensive findings and recommendations” at a future date.

The DA’s office noted that the investigation uncovered a “unique combination of circumstances” that led to the boat capsizing as 27 people—17 adults and 10 children—celebrated a fireworks demonstration on the 34-foot boat in Cold Spring Harbor.

“Additionally, it has also uncovered gaping holes in the maritime regulatory system and contributory design flaws in the vessel,” Rice’s spokesman John Byrne said. “The combination of these factors proved to be deadly but cannot support criminal charges that require proof beyond reasonable doubt.”

The statement didn’t say what specific design flaws contributed to the accident.

The three children who tragically died—8-year-old Victoria Gaines, 12-year-old David Aureliano of Kings Park and Harlie Treanor, 11, of Huntington Station—were all trapped in the cabin when the boat sank.

Shortly after the incident, the cabin cruiser’s owner said the boat was not overcrowded and that there were enough life jackets on the vessel.

The man at the helm told reporters afterward that a wave hit the boat right before it capsized.