An association of Long Island bay constables is donating underwater rescue equipment to four towns to try to prevent deaths in boating accidents like the one last July Fourth in which three children drowned.
Supported by Joy Treanor, whose 11-year-old daughter, Harlie, died in that accident on Oyster Bay, Christopher Briggs, president of the Bay Constable Benevolent Association, Tuesday asked the Oyster Bay Town Board to accept four of the units.
Treanor told the board "it took two hours for a volunteer [firefighter] to get there to get her [Harlie] out" of the cabin of the capsized 34-foot Kandi Won. "I don't want anybody to go through what we had to that night," she said, her voice breaking. "We have to be proactive."
Supervisor John Venditto said the town would determine how best to deploy the units.
The units incorporate a small scuba tank, breathing regulator and buoyancy vest that could be used by bay constables, who are often the first personnel to respond to emergencies. The units contain a second tank and regulator to provide air for someone trapped underwater.
Briggs, a part-time bay constable for North Hempstead, said his group would pay for training bay constables who are certified divers to use the units and would pay half the cost of having other constables trained as divers.
Calling the donation very generous, Venditto said, "We can try to do the right thing to see that it never happens again."