New Huntington Bay Safety Measures in Place Following Last Year's Fourth of July Tragedy

Around 1500 boats are expected in Huntington Bay

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Monday, Jul 8, 2013  |  Updated 10:46 AM EDT
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Last year's Fourth of July tragedy in Long Island's Oyster Bay--in which a boat piled high with 27 people to watch the fireworks show overturned, killing three children--still looms large in the area. Oyster Bay's fireworks show has been canceled this year, which means around 1,500 boats are expected in Huntington Bay to watch Asharoken's display, and new security measures have been put into place. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

Last year's Fourth of July tragedy in Long Island's Oyster Bay--in which a boat piled high with 27 people to watch the fireworks show overturned, killing three children--still looms large in the area. Oyster Bay's fireworks show has been canceled this year, which means around 1,500 boats are expected in Huntington Bay to watch Asharoken's display, and new security measures have been put into place. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

Last year's Fourth of July tragedy in Long Island's Oyster Bay -- in which a boat piled high with 27 people to watch the fireworks show overturned, killing three children -- still looms large in the area.

"That's the worst, most heart-wrenching thing I've ever seen, and we don't that to happen," said Harry Acker, a harbor master in Huntington Bay.

Oyster Bay's fireworks show has been canceled this year, which means around 1,500 boats are expected in Huntington Bay to watch Asharoken's display.

Boat traffic was expected to be more a potential problem at night, after the fireworks show is over and everyone leaves at the same time.

"All these boats powering up will create large wakes are going to affect smaller boats or boats that are not stable," Acker said.

Acker has imposed a 5-mph speed limit for all boats, and there will be extra patrols.

"We have divers from fire departments on board boats that will be here this year we'll have our rapid rescue system we are implementing for the first time this year," he said.

The rapid rescue system allows bay constables to put on scuba gear in less than 60 seconds.

Many of the new precautions were established based on feedback from the victims' families.

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