Two Killed, Three Injured in Hudson River Boat Capsize Accident
UPDATE (July 14, 2022): Later reports identified the two people killed as 47-year-old Lindelia Vasquez and her son.
Hudson River, NY — July 12, 2022, a woman and a 7-year-old child died after a chartered boat overturned in the Hudson River.
According to reports the incident happened Tuesday afternoon on the river. Preliminary investigation suggests around twelve people were riding in the chartered Yamaha AR240 jetboat, with its owner following behind on a personal watercraft, when the boat capsized for unknown reasons.
A woman and a young child were fatally injured in the accident. Three other people including the boat's captain were critically injured.
Investigators are still looking into why the boat overturned. No further information is currently available.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Boat Accident on Hudson River in New York
UPDATE (July 14, 2022): Later reports say the boat's owner, the man riding near it on a jet ski, had owned it for less than two months before allowing it to be chartered by the people aboard it that day.
Another charter-boat company owner also told news sources that taking more than six people aboard a chartered vessel typically requires a certificate of inspection from the Coast Guard. It's unclear whether the owner or boat captain had such permission or whether the captain was properly trained and licensed, but reports say one or both men may face criminal charges after the accident.
That raises many troubling questions about exactly how amateur the whole operation really was, and if there are questions of criminal consequences perhaps there are matters of civil liability here as well. Police won't say much about that as they're only concerned with criminal matters, but the victims may want to get independent investigators on their side if they feel the boat's owner should help them after possibly putting them in harm's way.
ORIGINAL: It looks like there's still quite a bit of mystery surrounding this terrible accident. Investigators mentioned water conditions and the boat's capacity and functionality as possible concerns; depending on what they learn about those things, there may be some questions of liability to address as well.
To be clear, I'm not pointing any fingers or saying anyone specific is at fault right now. I'm only suggesting that if the boat was hired from someone as reports say, that person had an obligation to make sure the people aboard had as safe a time as possible. That means the boat should have been in good repair and not over-loaded with passengers, and whoever was operating it needed to be qualified to do so. Moreover, water and weather conditions should have been checked before disembarking to be sure they wouldn't be problematic or dangerous for the people aboard.
To be clear, it's still possible that every one of those boxes was appropriately checked and there really was no way to see this incident coming. It's just important that investigators are careful and thorough before concluding anything, both to ensure that the people affected by this terrible incident have the full story and to ensure that the right parties (if any) are held accountable. Will appropriate care be taken here to learn the whole truth?