FBI Joins Oyster Bay Boat Investigation

Nassau cops enlist help of team to salvage boat, preserve evidence in accident that killed 3.

FBI divers stepped into the salvage effort Monday of the cabin cruiser that sank in Oyster Bay on July 4, killing three children.

Nassau County police invited the team in to assist with retrieving the boat from its resting place 60 feet below the surface of Oyster Bay.

Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki said Monday that the FBI would be able to salvage the boat as well as secure any evidence needed in the investigation of the tragedy.

An FBI team 15, based in Quantico, Va., arrived in Oyster Bay and began taking video and conducting sonar mapping, Skyrnecki said.

The 34-foot boat, which was carrying 27 people, sank after 10 p.m. Wednesday once a fireworks show popular with boaters concluded. Overcrowding on the boat, bad weather and a wake from passing boats are among the factors under investigation.

The three victims -- Victoria Gaines, 7, and cousins Harlie Treanor, 11, and David Aureliano, 11 -- were trapped in the cabin when the boat capsized. The vessel then began to sink and drift.

Skrynecki said the FBI would be able to raise the boat, harness it and bring it to land for further examination. “Our focus is to gain as much information as possible, “ Skrynecki said.

Just after 1 p.m., four police vessels, including one from the FBI's dive team, left Roosevelt Marina for the wreck, sitting in 60 feet of water.

"They are the best people available to do this kind of work," said Skrynecki, who added "I'm not certain (raising) the boat will bring all the answers."

lucky libra July 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM
i realize this is a very tragic accident, but you dont have 27 people on a boat that has a limit of 12 to 15.people. i also doubt that there was 27 life jackets on the boat either. my heart and prayers go out to all the families !!!!!!!
Sue July 09, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Yes, unfortunately, poor judgement on the parents' part led to the death of those children. I am sure they went out that night so the kids could have a good time. One cannot be angry, but only show compasion to those poor adults who suffered an unimaginable loss.
lucky libra July 09, 2012 at 08:03 PM
i agree with you, but the fact remains a fun night was more important than safety.
mike b July 09, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Why aren't we hearing from the people that survived ? Loose lips sink ships ? Every person on board share in the responsibility of the children. What happen ? Every man for themselves ? All those people and no one tried to help those kids. I can't wait for the whole story.......
jeremiah bullfrog July 09, 2012 at 10:39 PM
mike b, you have got to be kidding me. The pilot and passengers said it took about 1 second to flip, Its dark, everyones screaming for their loved ones and its chaos. Try blindfolding yourself and navigate thru your neighbors house, upside down while holding your breath! Would you go into that situation if you werent positive your loved one was in there? By the time the adults realized the kids didnt get out, they were probably already lost. Do you realize when a boat starts to flip the natural inclination is to run to the opposite side which actually puts more downward pressure on the low side? There is no scandal here, just poor judgement of quite a few adults. Would you want to go on tv as an adult and say" I thought it would be safe"? There are 24 survivors who ALL share the blame of the loss of those kids and NONE of their lives will ever be the same.
Just Sayin' July 09, 2012 at 10:42 PM
I understand that 27 people was too many. But please put some of the blame on ALL of the boaters that were frantically speeding & crowding (in a no wake zone) to beat the storm. ALL the boaters behavior put everyone in danger and caused this boat to capsize.
George July 10, 2012 at 03:25 PM
As a former boat owner I am very interested in what comes out of this tragedy. I am surprised there have been no comments from any of the 24 survivors, but I guess that will come in time during the investigation. As an accident, this has to be horrible for all involved and I believe the first person with all the responsibily is the Captain of the boat. He is in charge of all saftey and affairs and should have known better...but I am waiting to hear how this all came into being...did too many people show up and they all thought they would be safe? Although I want to think I wouldn't have gone on the boat, sometimes the "peer" presure of a good time, "hey we are not going out far" mentality does fog your head.....again my condolences to everyone in the tragedy.
mike b July 10, 2012 at 07:51 PM
jerimiah bullfrog POOR JUDGEMENT You're saying by the time the adults realized the kids didn't get out, it was too late to try. Tell firemen life guards and police - don't put yourself in danger -the person that needs your help is probably already lost.Bullsh-t you have to at least try. You tell the three kids it was dark or how about the water was cold or i'll save my ass you save yours My point is 24 survivoers all share the blame and nobody has come forward with any explaination of what happened. If someone at least came out to say they tried, but .... I hope if I ever need to be rescued it's by someone with a different out look than yours. I pulled two 10 year old kids from an inlet in South Hampton and a womem in the surf in Smith Point. Both times just sitting on the beach with my family. I feel very sad for the three kids and thier families. I hope others learn from this mistake.. The sea has no mercy on the inexperience or the foolish..
jeremiah bullfrog July 11, 2012 at 01:28 AM
I agree mike b, but first responders have dive equipment, lights,etc. Im pretty sure the registered owner had 2 kids on board and the uscg arrived within 2 minutes of the capsizing. I personally would risk life and limb to get back in the cabin, but this is all speculation. When panic sets in people react differently than those on shore passing judgement. Perhaps Mr. Treanor was tending to one daughter in hopes of another family member retrieving Harlie. Maybe someone did try to get back in. But to assume they didnt is foolish and unfounded. Anyone over the age of 21 is responsible for the overloading. I would never put my family in this situation, and would never board a vessel without having a pfd on me for entire trip. I can however guarantee that each parent did their best in a time of desperate circumstances. To speak like they did not is hurtful to all involved in a time of unbelievable pain
Gary Schmitt July 11, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I would like to know why NCPD doesn't carry dive gear and at least one certified diver on the team. A specialized dive unit is fine but response time will always be too long. Of course it is not their responsibility to compensate for the stupidity of the owner/skipper but air and a mask may have saved the kids.
jeremiah bullfrog July 11, 2012 at 06:34 PM
And mike b, I wasnt meaning it was ok to not go in and search, I was stating you cant find fault in someone for being disoriented and confused from being tossed off a boat and taking a moment to get their bearrings before diving off to check the cabin. As far as your heroic efforts of lifesaving, I applaud you. However there is a big difference between saving a swimmer during a sunny beach day, and diving a sinking boat in rough waters at night.


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