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Crowded yacht capsizes off Long Island, N.Y., three die

A 34-foot yacht with 27 people on board to watch a fireworks show capsized in Oyster Bay Wednesday night. Three people died, but 24 were rescued, many by nearby boaters.

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A yacht full of fireworks watchers capsized off New York's Long Island on the Fourth of July, killing three people and sending 24 others into the Long Island Sound, where many were rescued by fellow boaters, police said Thursday.

The three dead were recovered from the water near Oyster Bay after a long overnight search, said Nassau County Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lack. "Tragically three people were killed in this boating accident," he told reporters. He would not release the ages of the victims. Several media outlets reported that children were on board.

Preliminary causes for the accident "could be a combination of the weather and a wake from another vessel," Lack said. He said investigators will be looking at possible overcrowding on the vessel.

He said the first body was found shortly after the 911 call came in at 10:10 p.m. on Wednesday, and the two others were found later inside the yacht.

He said the operation took a long time because "at night in an area like this, it is very dangerous.

The quick response of nearby boaters probably saved lives.

"It was a lot of people in the water," Lack said. "Most people were taken aboard other crafts very quickly."


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