The father of Victoria Gaines, the 7-year old Huntington girl who died in the Independence Day sinking of the Kandi Won, says new boating regulations must emerge from the tragedy on Oyster Bay.
Paul Gaines, Victoria's father, issued a statement Friday in the aftermath of the Nassau District Attorney's decision not to file criminal charges in the case. The prosecutor's office said a detailed report on the incident will follow.
In the statement, issued through a public relations firm, Gaines said "We will examine the findings and determine our next course of action.
"No matter what the report says, it is clear that boating safety laws, rules and regulations need to be examined and some changed," Gaines said. "We have already worked with federal and state elected officials to draft legislation and create proposals regarding boating safety, including requiring safety classes and policies relating to safety at large scale events."
Victoria died along with two other children: Harley Treanor and David Aureliano, who were aboard the Kandi Won when it capsized and sank off Oyster Bay on July 4. The 34-foot Silverton cruiser had 27 people on board, including 10 children, when it capsized and sank in the dark following a fireworks display.
District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office said Thursday there is insufficient evidence to mount a criminal prosecution in the case.
The Gaines family has proposed legislation including "Victoria’s Law," which would address boating safety concerns at the state level.
Gaines said family members are working to construct a garden in Huntington which will be an "everlasting tribute to Victoria."
"My daughter, Victoria, was a wonderful little girl who loved the outdoors and the gifts of nature," Gaines said in the statement. "We will treasure our memories of her and will focus on them today. Moving forward it will be our goal to make sure that other families do not suffer the pain that we have had to endure."
The boating and safety legislative initiatives and the plans for the Victoria Gaines memorial garden can be seen here.