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Rescuers Find Stranded Boater after Massive Night Search

Boat was dead in the water one mile off Bayville; Oyster Bay Constables tow vessel to safety.

Nassau's marine patrol boat responded to Wednesday's incident on The Sound, but was positioned on the South Shore, an hour away. (File photo)
Nassau's marine patrol boat responded to Wednesday's incident on The Sound, but was positioned on the South Shore, an hour away. (File photo)
Teams of emergency responders made a difficult night rescue of a boater Wednesday whose vessel was discovered dead in the water in Long Island Sound off Bayville.

Wednesday night's dramatic rescue required an emergency response from the Oyster Bay Bay Constables. A crew scrambled to their boat and raced to the scene to help the stranded man.

The incident began shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday when a father contacted police to say his son was out boating earlier and had not returned home. The father told police that it was unusual for his son to not report in.

Oyster Bay firefighters and Nassau County Police responded in force to the foot of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and launched a rescue boat to inspect the boat's mooring, law enforcement officials said.

When the boat wasn't there, a Nassau Police helicopter was launched to search the waters around Oyster Bay, flying northward over Long Island Sound. It was there that police spotted the vessel, dead in the water.

But rescuing the boater was another matter. Nassau's patrol boat was stationed on the South Shore an hour away by water to respond, law enforcement officials said. A Coast Guard vessel was dispatched from New Haven, Conn.

Meanwhile, Oyster Bay firefighters requested help from the Bay Constables, who are not routinely on duty during the winter months. Three of them responded from their homes, fired up their patrol rescue and made way to the stranded boater, sources told Patch.

The constables found the young man, cold but unhurt, and towed his boat back to Oyster Bay. The young man had run out of gas, authorities told Patch.

Law enforcement officials say the incident points to a much larger issue:

"With patrols cut at the federal, state and county level, it's not a matter of if, but when someone will lose their life due to the lack of maritime response," said one law enforcement official, who asked not to be identified. "The towns need to come to terms and get on the ball with this."

Wednesday's rescue is only the recent incident on nearby waterways that have raised deep concerns in the boating community.

In August, Nassau County Police found themselves all alone on Long Island Sound confronting a man armed with a rifle. Audio tapes of the incident obtained by Patch reveal that the U.S. Coast Guard did not immediately respond to Nassau Marine Unit 20's call for backup and, at one point, appeared confused by Nassau's request for assistance. See that story complete story and hear the audio tapes of that incident here.

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