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NEW YORK

Safety experts: Doomed yacht was overcrowded

OYSTER BAY — A yacht that capsized with 27 friends and family aboard on an outing to watch Fourth of July fireworks was severely overcrowded and doomed to tip over, safety experts said Thursday as the skipper blamed the tragedy on a wave that came out of the dark.

Three children died after becoming trapped Wednesday night in the cabin of the 34-foot vessel off Oyster Bay, on the north shore of Long Island.

Sal Aurelino, who was at the helm of the Candi I, told TV’s News12 Long Island that he saw two lightning bolts, and then a wave suddenly hit.

“It turned the boat around,” he said, his voice cracking. “It just turned the boat. I didn’t see it. It was dark. I didn’t see it.”

Mr. Aurelino’s nephew David Aurelino, 12, and two girls, Harley Treanor, 11, and Victoria Gaines, 8, died. The 24 other passengers - a combination of adults and children - were rescued from the water, mostly by fellow boaters, and were not seriously hurt.

“The next thing I know, we’re turning, and we just kept turning, and everybody was in the water. It was chaos,” said Mr. Aurelino, who didn’t answer the door to the Associated Press.

The cause of the accident was under investigation, but it could have been the weather, overcrowding, the wake from another vessel or a combination of factors, said Nassau County Detective Lt. John Azzata. The area was crowded with boaters watching the fireworks, he said.

PENNSYLVANIA

House arrest denied for convicted monsignor

PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic official convicted of child endangerment will remain behind bars until his sentencing later this month, a judge ruled Thursday, denying a defense request for house arrest.

Monsignor William Lynn has been in custody since a jury convicted him June 22 of the charge, which stemmed from his handling of sex abuse claims at the Philadelphia archdiocese.

Lynn, 61, is the first U.S. Catholic church official convicted in the cover-up of child sex-abuse complaints. He faces 3 1/2 to seven years in prison.

“After due consideration, the motion is denied,” Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who presided over Lynn’s three-month jury trial, said at the brief hearing that was packed with the monsignor’s friends and family. She did approve a defense request to move up Lynn’s sentencing date from Aug. 13 to July 24.

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