Victims Of Boat Crash Identified -- C...

Victims Of Boat Crash Identified --

There are 14 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Jul 10, 2007, titled Victims Of Boat Crash Identified -- In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Authorities have identified the woman killed when a runaway powerboat collided with her sailboat on the Connecticut River over the weekend as Susan Brandes, 53, of South Windsor.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.


Northbrook, IL

#1 Jul 10, 2007
That's comforting to know this goon was released on a promise to arrive back in court, after being charged with operating a machine while under the influence.

East Granby, CT

#2 Jul 10, 2007
Siege should be locked up until his court date. He should be charged with criminally negligent homocide and punished to the fullest extent of the law. He willfully drank and willfully operated a machine that killed someone.
Hartford College Student

Washington, DC

#3 Jul 10, 2007
Why isn't he being charged with manslaughter as well? If he hadn't been an irresponsible moron a woman would still be alive...
seen a bit

New Haven, CT

#4 Jul 10, 2007
hard to follow the logic of the judge in this one. even if he has no other criminal record and strong ties to the local community, he killed a woman and could have easily killed more. where is MADD?
Robert Townsend

Laguna Niguel, CA

#5 Jul 10, 2007
Nothing more horrifying or sinister on the water than a propeller strike!
A recent quote from the East,“Nothing is more horrifying on the water than a propeller strike.� It continues “ A whirling blade can cause severe bleeding that can claim a life in seconds, and there is little that can be done to stop the bleeding? The only comparable life altering, disfiguring injury if the subject survives is a wartime injury such as those being suffered by our young heroes in Afganistan and Iraq.
The barbarism of such wanton brutality can easily be stopped. The risk of being shredded by an unguarded propeller can be all but eliminated with such devices without affecting the operation of watercraft. Such devices indeed enhance the operation of watercraft and its efficiency, including stability and steerage throughout it performance range.

Our organization has recently been formed. The group is known by the acronym, SAFER BOATING. That said, the organization is more properly named Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Recreational (SAFER) Boating. The purpose of this organization is to establish appropriate, economical but much needed higher safety standards for all Recreational Watercraft as well as the conditions under which the craft is operated.

There are three other organizations that victims might want to contact and . or .

This organization lobbies the US Congress as well as the United States Coast Guard when in Washington DC and at selected national boating law enforcement meetings several times a year.

I am also a Legal Investigator with operations out of Dana Point California and have investigated recreational watercraft accidents.

Now is the time for all responsible recreational maritime boating vendors such as Maritime engine manufacturers to step up to the plate, put in place to safety devices to protect persons in and on the water from the continuing horrific, grotesque, life altering, frequently death inducing strike of the exposed boat propeller. It is not responsible to "let someone else do it."

Complainers, detractors, naysayer, the recreational maritime industry and there are some adamant ones, about a propeller shields/shrouds/guards law use the same criticisms as those made when a mandatory seat belt law was imposed. That being said, do you even think about it anymore or has clicking in become as routine as putting the key in the ignition? Many people believe these tragedies happen because of alcohol or the recreational mindset.


The National Maritime Marine Association (NMMA), a sophisticated silk hose-lobbying group for the recreation boating manufacturers, actively promotes the recreational carefree “anything goes� recreational mindset. Just take a look at any boating magazine. Resort, State and National Park Marinas will not only rent you boats ands jet skis without a modicum of familiarization, their personnel with also sell and help you load the booze and ice wanted or needed. No serious questions are ever asked.

The US Congressional American Boating Caucus (ABC), a so called informal group of more than 150 senators and representatives that focuses on recreational boating issues is an arm of The National Marine Manufacturers Association's (NMMA) initiated in 1989.

If you are an elected legislator¦you are invited to be a member.

The United States Coast Guard effort is second to none in the world, but they too are under funded and short on staff. The National Boating Safety Committee (NBSAC) is well meaning.

Recreational boating safety has changed very little, if any in the past 40 years, as has the recreational boating mindset. This phenomenon is thanks in large part to Recreational Watercraft Manufacturers advertising and promotion.

Warmest regards and thanks for listening,
Robert Townsend, CLI

Troy, MI

#6 Jul 10, 2007
Nothing more horrifying or sinister on the water IS AN OPERATOR OF A BOAT WHO IS UNDER THE INFLUENCE!

Does SAFER BOATING discourage operating a vessel while under the influence?

CLI? Certified Legally Insane

Plainville, CT

#7 Jul 10, 2007
rocco wrote:
That's comforting to know this goon was released on a promise to arrive back in court, after being charged with operating a machine while under the influence.
Bet you he Skips Out and they have to find him. Kill someone and get released on a PTA. This should increase the violence on the streets with this one.
Squeenter Squillo

United States

#8 Jul 10, 2007
He probably only get 2 years max, plus other fines and things. I think that's about the norm for drunk driving with fatality.

Squeenter was under the impression he fell from the boat and then the accident occur, but it now sounds more like he was tossed during the crash or perhaps bailed to avoid responsibility? The video of the runaway boat showed it going in small circles and looked to be easy to avoid.

Windsor Locks, CT

#9 Jul 10, 2007
Have to believe that when this mope gets to court his charges will be upgraded to manslaughter and his bail increased.

Laguna Woods, CA

#10 Jul 10, 2007
Leland Gerald Brandes also has 3 daughters, Robin Liane Brandes Gibbs age 45, Dana Michele Brandes, and Jody Brandes.He has 8 Grandchildren and one great grandchild. His Granddaughter Kaci Brandes resides with him.

Laguna Woods, CA

#11 Jul 10, 2007
Leland Gerald Brandes also has 3 daughters, Robin Liane Brandes Gibbs age 45, Dana Michele Brandes 44, and Jody Britten42.He has 8 Grandchildren and one great grandchild. His Granddaughter Kaci Brandes resides with him.

Greenfield, MA

#12 Jul 10, 2007
Letting drunks get away with killing, is a good ole boy syndrome, hence the victim was "only a woman". And being from Madison, the killer most likely will have the money and clout to get out of the entire thing.
I keep hearing all the time, that we are so lucky to have the laws we do in America, but this is another example of why we are not so lucky. Alcohol kills and so many don't even care. My heart goes out for the family of this woman.
More Kids

South Windsor, CT

#13 Jul 10, 2007
There are more family members. Susan had Three Step- daughters, Robin 45, Dana 44, and Jody 42. Susan Also had 4 granddaughters and 4 grandsons. One Granddaughter who lived with her since age 12. She also had one great granddaughter age 2.
Graciela Scappaticci

Ashburn, VA

#14 Sep 7, 2013
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