Man charged with drunk boating after crash off Long Island

May 6, 2013 8:08:56 PM PDT
A man is accused of boating while intoxicated after an accident in Northport Harbor off of Long Island.

Suffolk County police say 52-year-old William Tabert, of Fort Salonga, was operating a 21-foot Malibu motorboat when he hit a 50-foot sailboat with a family of four people on board.

Luke and India Harris always wear life preservers when they're headed out to the family boat, a beautiful sailboat called the Denia Blue.

Their parents are serious about boating safety, but they know now not everyone is.

"I knew something hit us, but I didn't know what," said Liz Harris, boat owner.

Early Sunday morning the Denia Blue was docked at Northport Harbor. The family was already sleeping when the crash happened.

Luke and India were OK, and when the parents went out onto the deck, they found a small motorboat drifting nearby.

Derek Harris says the men on board admitted to ramming them.

"They definitely had a lot to drink," Derek Harris said.

Police arrested Tabert, who was charged with boating while intoxicated.

Suffolk Police are cracking down on drunk boating this summer, even holding a special class to teach police how to catch drunken boaters.

The Harris' know that this could have ended a whole lot differently.