In the aftermath of Wednesday night's , says it is imperative that boat owners come to grips with the dangers of the sea.
"More and more, people are forgetting about safety, courtesy and common sense," said Weiss, spokesman for the 's District 3, a national organization devoted to boating safety.
"What more evidence do you need," said Weiss, imploring: "Take the boating safety course."
Too many boaters don't, and the consequences can be horrific.
On Friday off Lloyd Neck, two Nassau County Police patrol boats stood vigil above the wreck of the Candi One, the 34-foot cabin cruiser that capsized and sank off Oyster Bay July 4, killing three children. The victims were identified as , 12, of Kings Park, , 11, of Huntington Station, and , 8, of Huntington.
By all operational standards, Weiss said the Candi One was overloaded with its 27 passengers and presented a danger to all aboard.
Weiss, a boating safety expert who teaches courses for boat operators, was in Oyster Bay Wednesday night aboard his own 34-foot vessel, carrying eight people, and saw the overloaded boat not far away.
"I can not, in my wildest dreams, imagine 27 people on my boat," said Weiss, who is "comfortable" with no more than 8-10 passengers. "I get really nervous at 12," he said.
Weiss described a scene of sudden chaos Wednesday night that was ripe for disaster. Just as the fireworks ended, a storm hit. Scores of boats throttled up and headed to shore even as nearby boats bobbed around them in the darkened waters. Suddenly, waters that had been placid rolled from the ensuing wakes.
"You have all of these factors," he said: "The boat was (likely to have been) top heavy with people on deck. It's dark. There are boats all around. A thunderstorm is on the way, and people are high-tailing it out of there and the waters are suddenly choppy."
Weiss said authorities will need to examine other factors related to the condition of the sunken boat. Experts will attempt to learn if the yacht had taken on water because of a leak or other mechanical malfunction.
If the hull of the 1984 Silverton had taken on water, it could easily have been toppled by a wave, especially with that many people aboard and topside, Weiss said.
But first, authorities will need to , Nassau Police said Friday. The process is complicated, because the vessel is now a potential crime scene. The boat may contain evidence that could indicate whether any crimes were committed in connection with the deaths, Nassau Police said.
No charges have been filed in the case; the investigation is ongoing. Nassau County Police are the lead investigating agency in the case, police said.
It was not clear which agency will raise the boat, or whether a private salvage company will be required to bring it to the surface, said Officer James Imperiale, a spokesman for the Nassau Police.
Meanwhile, details are emerging of the heroic rescue attempts made by trained divers to free the children from the overturned yacht.
A member of the Atlantic Steamers Fire Company, based in Oyster Bay, dove on the capsized vessel and, amid debris and wreckage, managed to pull one of the children from cabin, Imperiale said.
Attempts to revive the child were unsuccessful, authorities said.
The capsized boat began to drift as it continued sinking, floating out of the harbor and toward the opening to Long Island Sound. Nassau County Dive Teams made repeated efforts in the dark and at 60 feet of depth to recover the other two victims, Imperiale said.
Ultimately, those children's bodies were recovered.
Many boaters and experts have questioned the propriety of carrying 27 people aboard a 34-foot pleasure craft, especially in the dark. A spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard indicted that while that many people is inadvisable, there may not be formal regulations governing the number of permissible passengers on a boat of that size.
The Town of Oyster Bay's bay constables had two patrol boats in the general vicinity of the sinking, which took place just after 10 p.m. Wednesday just as the fireworks ended and a strong squall passed over the open waters.
Nassau Police said the constables assisted in the rescue efforts. Weiss witnessed at least one of the constables shuttle a victim from the wreckage to the Roosevelt Marina and a waiting ambulance.
During the course of the evening, where hundreds of boats jammed the harbor, the constables made "one or two arrests" for drunken boating, Nassau Police said. There are no posted speed regulations or wake limitations in that vicinity of the harbor, a review of NOAA maps reveals.
There is a general formula used by boating manufacturers: length times width, divided by 15, to determine the number of 150 pound people who can safely be aboard.
However, boats the size of the Candi One -- over 25 feet in length -- are probably not subject to any laws or guidelines determined by the formula.
Instead, common sense should prevail, Weiss said.
"What we're seeing on the water are a lot of people who are being idiots," said Weiss, recommending everyone take the . The course itself is free; participants pay for a safety book.
"I teach the class regularly," said Weiss, "and I learn something new every time just by teaching it."