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Yacht that capsized in N.Y. called overcrowded

MINEOLA, N.Y. — A 34-foot yacht that capsized last year while leaving a July 4 fireworks show, killing three children, tipped over because it was overcrowded, a New York prosecutor said in a report released Wednesday.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who said earlier this year that no criminal charges would be filed, noted that despite the findings, federal boating regulations still do not require capacity limits for vessels 20 feet and longer.

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The Silverton yacht Kandi Won had 17 adults and 10 children on board when it capsized in Oyster Bay shortly after 10 p.m. and quickly sank. The children who died, ages 12, 11, and 7, drowned after becoming trapped inside the cabin. Two adults tried to rescue the children, but they quickly became separated in the dark as water inundated the vessel, the report noted.

Rice’s report called for a review of the policy exempting larger vessels from capacity limits. It also recommended changes in state laws regarding drunken boating, expanded boater safety regulations, and safety inspections for boats similar to those required for motor vehicles.

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