LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11)—The devastated families of the three children, who died in a July 4th boating accident, held wakes Sunday night on Long Island.
"I can't even imagine what they are going through right now. There aren't any words, honestly," said Josephine Carey. She attended the Hicksville wake for Victoria Gaines, 7.
Funerals are scheduled this week for all three children.
Their patriotic celebration to watch fireworks turned tragic, when the 34-foot yacht they were sailing in capsized on Long Island Sound. Twenty-Seven people were on the boat. They vessel was only meant to carry only 15 passengers, according to authorities.
Investigators want to know if there were enough life jackets. They are also looking at whether overcrowding contributed to the tragedy. Rough weather passed through at the time of the incident. And according to Nassau County officials, passengers said a big wave or wake hit their boat.
After it flipped, the children could not be pulled out in time. The boat rests in about 60 feet of water. Officials said they hope to bring it to the surface this week.
"Boating, sailing and fishing are some of the best parts of our centuries-old traditions and culture. It brings families together for countless days of joy and excitement. A day on the water should be a pleasure, not one that ends in tragedy," said Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern.
He announced Sunday that he plans to introduce the so-called "Suffolk's Safer Waterways Act." The legislation would require all boaters operating a vessel on Suffolk County waterways to complete an approved boating safety course.
A memorial trust fund has been set up to help the family of Victoria Gaines.
For more information log onto http://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGainesMemorial
Edited By Michelle Robinson