Kinsella fell through a broken railing on the Sea Genie II boat near Hyannis Port, Massachusetts on the evening of July 22, 2001.
Her family fought to have the boat operators, 76-year-old Joseph Shore and his 39-year-old son Cord sentenced to jail, but they received three years probation after pleading guilty to a charge of seaman’s manslaughter.
The pair admitted before a court in Massachusetts that they ignored pleas from other passengers to save Kinsella whilst they attempted to get rid of drugs and alcohol that they had brought onboard illegally.
Following the Cord’s sentencing, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts released a report, which told how the Shores brought beer, wine and liquor onboard for the passengers, most of whom were underage.
A total of 60 people boarded the boat, which had a maximum capacity of 45 passengers. There were also “fewer than adequate,” life saving devices onboard.
At one point in the evening, the Sea Genie II drifted into a moored sailboat, causing its own starboard railing to break. Kinsella later fell overboard through the broken railing.
After the Shores became aware that Kinsella had fallen into the water, they ran the boat in circles in the 58-degree water as passengers reportedly heard Ms. Kinsella cry out for help.
25-year-old Hugh Crowther from Ongar, Dublin, was working as a crewmember on the boat that night.
“Every now and then we could still hear her screaming and we’d start up the boat again. It was just guessing,” he said last week in an interview with the Sunday Tribune newspaper.
“Then, we’d hear her voice again, she must have been swimming to get to the boat again, it must have been horrible for her. I’m sure she must have been getting close and then the boat would take off again,” he said.
Cord Shore instructed several passengers to collect the alcohol and beer cans on the boat and dump them overboard.
They did not notify the U.S. Coast Guard for nearly 50 minutes. By the time they arrived and located Ms. Kinsella, she had been in the water for almost an hour. She was not breathing, had no pulse and attempts to resuscitate her failed.
Kinsella’s family is seeking a wrongful death suit against Michael Wyman, the Boston-based businessman whose company, Wyman Charter Corporation, owned and leased the boat.
A native of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, Kinsella was training to be a Montessori teacher. She had spent the summer working in Dunkin’ Donuts in Barnstable in order to fund her studies for the following year.