(WJAR) — Friends of a woman killed in a tragic boating crash on Narragansett Bay took their grief and turned it into positive force.
The Better Bay Alliance is rolling out a live mapping program to show where events are taking place on the bay that you can avoid for safety.
Friends of a woman killed in a boating crash on Narragansett Bay are turning grief into action, NBC 10’s R.J. Heim reports.
On Sunday, August 11, 2019, 60-year-old Sandra Tartaglino of Tiverton was on her two-person, 18-foot catamaran heading south approaching the Claiborne Pell Bridge in Newport, participating in the New England 100 Regatta.
According to a report from the Department Environmental Management, a 28-foot cabin cruiser, captained by 75-year-old Frank Teixeira of Portsmouth, was traveling west, when without warning, broadsided and rode over the sailboat, striking and then throwing Tartaglino into the water, killing her.
“It didn’t have to happen,” said Dave Lussier of the Better Bay Alliance. “It shouldn’t have happened. And we all wanted to do things for the future to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again.”
Friends and boating enthusiasts poured their heartbreak into the Better Bay Alliance.
“We had to do something to make boating on the bay safer,” Lussier said.
Taking his background in engineering, Lussier created with a web designer, a “Live Chart” program for the non-profit’s website.
“It’s an interactive graphic calendar,” he said, with “everything going on in Narragansett Bay.”
The first of four versions of Live Chat goes online May 6.
Knowing where and when bay events are taking place will help recreational boaters plan their pleasure cruises.
Lussier said, “Version 2 that we’re hoping to get more funding for, we’re going to add A.I.S. data, all the large ships of interest,” is targeted for this autumn. “Version 3 will add title information, hopefully by the winter of 2023 or 2024.”
Version 4, that will be similar to the car traffic WAZE system, and crowdsourcing, with comments for hazards, is targeted for the winter of 2024 of 2025.
Teixeira was fined $400 in the crash, and settled in a civil case with Tartaglino’s family. But none of that brings Sandra back.
“We save one life, we have achieved our mission,” Lussier said.
Find out about over 300 on-the-water events throughout Rhode Island (Summer 2023), including sail, power, kayak, and social events. LIVE CHART releases Mary 6th, 2023!