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D.A.: No Charges in Deadly Oyster Bay Sinking

UPDATE: Not enough evidence to bring criminal charges in tragedy that left three kids dead.

Nassau County authorities will not bring criminal charges in the July 4 sinking of a crowded pleasure boat that left three children dead.

District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office said Thursday there is insufficient evidence to mount a criminal prosecution in the case.

The July 4, 2012 sinking took the lives of three children, Victoria Gaines, Harley Treanor and David Aureliano, who were aboard the Kandi Won when it capsized and sank off Oyster Bay. The 34-foot Silverton cruiser had 27 people onboard, including 10 children, when it capsized and sank in the dark following a fireworks display.

"The Office of the District Attorney has determined that no criminal charges are appropriate," said D.A. spokesman John Byrne. "The investigation uncovered a unique combination of circumstances that led to this specific boat’s capsizing."

Byrne said the seven-month investigation also uncovered gaping holes in the maritime regulatory system and "contributory design flaws in the vessel." 

"The combination of these factors proved to be deadly but cannot support criminal charges that require proof beyond reasonable doubt," Byrne said.

Newsday quoted an unnamed source "with knowledge of the investigation," saying preliminary tests showed no major problems with the boat or its equipment, further investigation showed it was both unstable and unseaworthy.

Lawyers for the families involved expect civil lawsuits, Newsday reported.

Lisa Gaines, Victoria's mother, said she would have "no comment at this time."

The 34-foot Silverton cruiser, named Kandi Won, had 27 people onboard, at least 10 of them children, when it capsized near the mouth of Oyster Bay on the way back to Huntington after a fireworks display.

The DA’s office intends to issue a comprehensive report of the sinking and will offer recommendations at a later time, he said.

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