Woman dead after power boat collides with sailboat in Narragansett Bay

Update 8/19/2019


The Department of Environmental Management’s investigation surrounding the death of Sandra G. Taraglino, 60, of Tiverton could take weeks, an official told The Daily News.

NEWPORT — The chief public affairs officer for the Department of Environmental Management, the agency investigating the fatal Aug. 11 collision of a powerboat and sailboat on Narragansett Bay, said Sunday he “misjudged the timing” when he issued a statement Aug. 12 that promised a preliminary report of the investigation into the crash later that week.

shouldn’t have said DEM would be issuing any details [that] week. Our investigation still is in the very early going and it’s going to be a matter of some weeks before we’re through. Our officers still have witnesses to interview and accident reconstruction to conduct,” Michael Healey told The Daily News on Sunday.

The DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement is investigating the boat crash that killed Sandra G. Tartaglino, 60, of Tiverton. Asked if the DEM is conducting the investigation in conjunction with other agencies, like the Rhode Island State Police, Healey said it’s “only DEM’s investigation. By law DEM investigates boating fatalities in Rhode Island.”

“The [DEM] Division [of Law Enforcement] is responsible for conducting investigations of all boating accidents that result in personal injury, death, or severe property damage and to prosecute all cases of reckless operation that result in injury, death, or property damage,” according to the DEM website.



Super Anarchist
How the heck do you run over a boat in clear settled daylight conditions, kill somebody, and not be arrested and facing charges???
Same contributing factors as mass shooters of a certain ethnicity getting arrested and taken alive but someone selling stuff on the side of the street can get put into an illegal chokehold and die. 



Someone mentioned Perdock above.  If you really want to get fried, google that travesty of justice and small town politics in Lake County, Ca.  Keep digging and you'll be appalled that he was trying to become mayor after running over a sailor at night at ~50 mph.  Latitude 38 did a lot of reporting on it.

My condolences to Sandra's family.  

Someone mentioned Perdock above.  If you really want to get fried, google that travesty of justice and small town politics in Lake County, Ca.  Keep digging and you'll be appalled that he was trying to become mayor after running over a sailor at night at ~50 mph.  Latitude 38 did a lot of reporting on it.

My condolences to Sandra's family.  
Actually, Perdock did become mayor of Clearlake for 2 years and now is a councilman of the town and seems highly qualified and regarded in that position.


“According to Mayor Russ Cremer, ‘While we had excellent candidates, the Council voted unanimously to appoint Russ Perdock due to his previous experience and leadership on the Council. We have many projects to complete as City Council and Mr. Perdock was chosen for his ability to hit the ground running.’”

Or hit a sailboat,  run away and then try and blame it on the sailboat skipper.



New member
From RI website

Safe navigation on Rhode Island waterways is everyone’s responsibility. All operators are equally responsible for taking action as necessary to avoid collisions.

Encountering Other Vessels

Even though no vessel has the “right-of-way” over another vessel, there are some rules that every operator should follow when encountering other vessels. It is the responsibility of both operators to take the action needed to avoid a collision. See Navigation Rules for what to do when encountering another vessel.

To prevent collisions, every operator should follow the three basic rules of navigation.

  • Practice good seamanship.
  • Keep a sharp lookout.
  • Maintain a safe speed and distance.

Encountering Vessels With Limited Maneuverability

When operating a power-driven vessel, you must give way to:

  • Any vessel not under command, such as an anchored or disabled vessel
  • Any vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver, such as a vessel towing another or laying cable, or one constrained by its draft, such as a large ship in a channel
  • A vessel engaged in commercial fishing
  • A sailboat under sail unless it is overtaking

When operating a vessel under sail, you must give way to:

  • Any vessel not under command
  • Any vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver
  • A vessel engaged in commercial fishing


Super Anarchist
So they've laid her to rest but won't name the guy who killed her?
I believe otherwise, and logic dictates so, but it is possible that "blame" is shared in some, probably small, manner.

The authorities just probably don't want to name names until they have the whole uncontroverted and irrefutable story laid out so as to avoid speculation.



Super Anarchist
"Blame is shared", i.e. an accident, the only possibility I can imagine for that is if the motorboat lost sight of the cat as it transited the bridge or if they tacked or turned suddenly when an inattentive observer wasnt expecting it. Otherwise, it was 2:45 PM on a clear sunny day, a fleet of relatively large cats sailing to and around large brightly colored marks, the only reason for the collision is negligence.

Generally, when there is a fatal collision all parties are named. In this case they don't even identify the type much less name of the other vessel. That's odd. Also odd isthe initial statement from the CG that there are no rules (of the road) governing keeping a safe distance. Not only is this contrary to what the rest of the world thinks but it sounds like preemptive rationalization for why a motorboat (the give way vessel in all cases except if being overtaken, under the RotR) not only failed to give way but also to keep clear in a safe seamanlike manner in a wide, open estuary with clearly marked deep channels. That the motorboat not only collided with but ran over the sailboat sufficient to cut up the deceased speaks to a relatively high speed sudden impact rather than a glancing blow, in all likelihood.

So sounds hinky and the lack of a public statement by the other sailor aboard is also odd.



Super Anarchist
Not a lawyer but I am puzzled by claims that "no vessel has right of way" when the rule language is highly prescriptive. 

"The rules come from the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions 
at Sea (COLREGS), with which the U.S. regulations are consistent. Following are the basic rules that apply to all 
sailboats in U.S. waters.
Whenever two boats come close to each other, the rules designate one as the stand-on vessel and the other as the 
give-way vessel. The rules are designed to prevent a situation like two people walking toward each other on a 
sidewalk who both step out each other's way in the same direction and thus run into each other. The stand-on 
vessel must continue on its course and the give-way vessel must turn away to avoid collision. "


"A commonly held misconception concerning the rules of marine navigation is that by following specific rules, a vessel can gain certain rights of way over other vessels.[14] No vessel ever has absolute "right of way" over other vessels. Rather, there can be a "give way" (burdened) vessel and a "stand on" (privileged) vessel, or there may be two give way vessels with no stand on vessel. A stand on vessel does not have an absolute right of way over any give way vessel, for if there is a risk of collision, a stand on vessel may still be obliged (under Rule 2 and Rule 17) to give way so as to avoid it, if doing so will be effective and is practicable.[15][16] Two power-driven vessels approaching each other head-to-head, are both deemed to be "give way" and both are required to alter course so as to avoid colliding with the other. Neither vessel has "right of way".[17]" Wikipedia

So there is no absolute RoW but the burdened vessel must give way. Confusing perhaps but the idea is that the onus is on both to avoid collision though the burdened vessel must give way. If the burdened vessel doesn't the stand on vessel should. But the original onus is clearly on the give way vessel. He needs to prove, I imagine, that he altered course in a seamanlike manner in the event of a collision.



As a sailor, yea I want the head of the power boater on a pike, but it isn't always that simple.

Hypothetical situation:  The power boat is chugging along at 5 kts, with open water in front of them.  The cat fleet is approaching from the stern on a reaching leg at a higher rate of speed.

The woman is out on the trap, thinking she has room to just clear the stern of the power boat, when a wave, puff of wind, mental lapse, whatever causes her to physically hit the stern of the boat, dropping her into the prop.

The power boat never knew she was coming and as the over taken boat should have been maintaining course and speed.

Who’s at fault?


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