MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Overcrowding and rough waters may have contributed to the capsizing of a chartered boat in the Hudson River that left a 7-year-old boy and a woman from Colombia dead, investigators said early Wednesday, as the victims were identified.
Thirteen people were packed into the vessel, which measured just 15 to 20 feet, when it launched onto a choppy Hudson River Tuesday afternoon. Officials initially said 12 people were on the boat. Investigators now believe that those factors could have combined to cause the boat to go down around 2:45 p.m. near Pier 84 off of Manhattan’s West Side.
The craft, dubbed “Stimulus Money,” flipped over, sending all 12 occupants into the water and trapping two of them beneath the boat. NYPD and FDNY rescuers, as well as good Samaritans from nearby ferries, raced to the scene, but couldn’t reach those two victims in time.
They were identified early Wednesday as Julian Vasquez, 7, and Lindelia Vasquez, 47, of Colombia. The boat’s captain was also hospitalized in what authorities described as critical condition.
The boat has been removed from the water and is being examined by police to determine what, if anything, else may have gone wrong.
No charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing into what NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell on Tuesday called “a tragic day for New Yorkers.”