The United States Coast Guard is now leading the investigation into a boat capsizing on the Hudson River, resulting in the deaths of two people.
News 12 New Jersey spoke with a boat captain who works the Hudson River every day. Captain Paul Dauriac says he warned the coast guard for years that an accident like the one that occurred on Tuesday was inevitable.
“I was very vocal with the Coast Guard for five years about what was happening in New York Harbor,” Dauriac said.
Dauriac owns and operates four charter boats through his company SailAwayNewYork.com. He says there are too many small “bareboat charters” operating unchecked by the Coast Guard on the river. He says it can be dangerous for boat traffic.
“We see them. You have 10 people on a 26ft long boat. It defies logic,” Dauriac says.
The Coast Guard says there were 12 people aboard a 24-foot boat that capsized around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Lindelia Vazquez, 47, and Julian Vazquez, 7, were trapped under the boat and died. This led to wondering if there were too many people on the boat. The victims were with 10 other relatives at the time.
Coincidentally, the Coast Guard issued a boating safety statement on Wednesday, stating, “Overloading can cause the boat to roll lower in the water, reduce vessel stability and significantly increase the risk of capsizing.”
The statement also suggests that people “be on the lookout for illegal charters.” The agency also says any vessel carrying six or more passengers “must have a valid Coast Guard inspection certificate.”
The Coast Guard has not yet named the charter or the captain involved in the accident and did not say whether the boat had Coast Guard credentials.