Funerals for Killed Children Begin as FBI Prepares to Raise Capsized L.I. Yacht

Funerals for the children, ages 12, 11 and 8, will be held Monday and Tuesday

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    FBI crews were preparing Monday to salvage the yacht that capsized off Oyster Bay on the Fourth of July, killing three children. A funeral was held Monday for one of the children, David Aureliano. Meanwhile, the attorney for the boat's owner is blaming waves in the water created by an excessive traffic of boats. Greg Cergol reports. (Published Monday, July 9, 2012)

    FBI crews were preparing Monday to salvage the yacht that capsized off Oyster Bay on the Fourth of July, killing three children.

    The sunken Silverton yacht, which is still under around 70 feet of water near Cold Spring Harbor, is to be raised Tuesday, officials said. Nassau police said Monday that the FBI would conduct the salvage operation because of its expertise.

    Seven-year-old Victoria Gaines of Huntington, 11-year-old Harlie Treanor of Huntington Station and 12-year-old David Aureliano of Kings Park were trapped inside the 34-foot vessel when it flipped and sank following a fireworks ceremony in the waters off Oyster Bay.

    Twenty-four others escaped.

    "I'm not certain that the boat will provide all the answers that we're looking for," said Nassau Police Chief Steven Skrynecki. "At this point in time we don't know exactly what information we'll get, but clearly we want whatever information can be gleaned."

    It is still unknown what caused the boat to flip. The operator of the boat has said it was struck by a giant wave. Some experts have said a boat of that size would have been overcrowded with 27 people aboard -- an assertion a lawyer for the boat's owner, Kevin Treanor, disputes.

    "This wasn't an overcrowded boat. This was an overcrowded waterway," the lawyer, James Mercante, told NBC 4 New York. "And the result was a free-for-all, and ocean-like waves, that capsized the boat."

    Meanwhile, a stream of friends and relatives remembered the children. David's funeral took place Monday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Northport.

    "It's a sad time for the family but they're holding together very well because he was a great kid," said Vito DeFeo, a family member.

    The girls' funerals will be held Tuesday.

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