Eight People Injured When 2 Pleasure Boats Collide

NEW YORK–Eight people, including three children, sustained minor to severe injuries after a head-on collision between 23-foot and 25-foot pleasure boats near the Bay Shore Marina just east of the Robert Moses Causeway on Fire Island, N.Y. about 10 p.m. Saturday. Five of the eight boaters were ejected from their vessels following the collision.

One child sustained serious injuries, a man sustained a serious laceration above his right eyebrow, and the other six boaters were reported to have sustained minor injuries from the collision.

Coast Guard Station Fire Island received a call of five people in the water via a 911 emergency operator. Rescue crews from Suffolk County Marine and Islip Harbor Police Departments, Coast Guard Station Fire Island and two Good Samaritan vessels immediately responded to the scene. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound issued an urgent marine information broadcast, asking mariners in the area to render assistance.

The 65-foot Bay Shore commercial tour vessel Lauren Kristy rescued two of the five ejected boaters from the water, the Islip Harbor Police Department rescued two other boaters, and the fifth person was able to climb back into one of the damaged vessels.

The other three boaters remained in their vessels following the collision. All eight people were taken to the Bay Shore Marina by 10:30 p.m. where awaiting EMS personnel took them to the Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

Both vessels involved in the collision sustained severe damage, although there are no reports of oil or fuel pollution in the water. Suffolk County Marine Police Department took both badly damaged vessels in tow to the Bay Shore Marina.

A Coast Guard Station Fire Island rescue crew remained on scene to ensure that the waterway was safe for other mariners.

It is not known whether any of five of the boaters ejected into the water were wearing life jackets.

The Coast Guard urges all mariners to boat smart. Use caution when navigating at night, maintain a sharp watch for other boaters ensure children and weaker swimmers always wear a life jacket, and enroll in U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron boating education courses.

“Boaters should exercise extreme caution while traveling at night. It’s dark and visibility is limited,” said Mark Averill, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound duty watch officer. “It’s best to keep a slower speed that would enable one to quickly maneuver to avoid other boaters, and by all means, wear a life preserver. It can mean the difference between a pleasure cruise and a serious accident.”

The sea state at the time of the incident was reported as two-foot seas with up to eight miles of nighttime visibility and 10-knot winds.

The Nassau County Police Department is conducting an investigation.

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