Long Island Sound Coast Guard units provide safety, security on water though summer weekend

1st Coast Guard District NewsNEW YORK – Coast Guard members from Sector Long Island Sound units worked with local authorities to, perform a medical evacuation, assist boaters in distress, respond to a boater under the influence and educate boaters on boating safety regulations, as part of another active weekend of standing watch over the Long Island waterways, Saturday and Sunday.

“The Coast Guard urges boaters to take personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers,” said Lt. Shannon Smith, command center chief for Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “Life jackets are required to be available for everyone onboard along with other crucial safety equipment. Some important steps that boaters can take to minimize incidents on the water include: always wearing a life jacket and requiring passengers to do the same; never boat under the influence; complete a boating safety course; and get a free vessel safety check annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary members. The Coast Guard reminds all boaters, “You’re in Command. Boat Responsibly!”

Sector Long Island Sound and local emergency response units responded to 10 search and rescue cases and three law enforcement cases, resulting in 62 lives saved.

At 12 p.m. Saturday, Coast Guard Station Montauk’s boarding team terminated the voyage of a recreational vessel with three people on board including two children. The voyage was terminated due to the following violations: no boater registration, no fire extinguisher and no Type IV throwable personal flotation device on board.

At 2:21 p.m. Saturday, Sector Long Island Sound Command Center watchstanders received notification that a personal watercraft (PWC), with three people on board, was taking on water. Coast Guard Station Fire Island launched a rescue boatcrew. When they arrived on scene, a good samaritan had the PWC in tow with all three people safely aboard.

At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sector Long Island Sound Command Center watchstanders received notification of a capsized kayak near the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays, N.Y. Coast Guard Station Shinnecock launched a rescue boatcrew and were assisted by the Southampton Bay Constables. The two kayakers reported that the current forced them under the bridge where their kayak capsized. While Station Shinnecock’s boatcrew was on scene, another kayak capsized in the same area and was immediately assisted.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday, Sector Long Island Sound Command Center watchstanders received notification of a boater who was unable to transit the Moriches Inlet due to building surf conditions and nightfall. Coast Guard Station Shinnecock and Suffolk County Marine (SCPD) launched boatcrews. SCPD arrived on scene and transferred the two passengers aboard, but were unable to tow the vessel in.

At 8:25 p.m., Saturday, Coast Guard Station Fire Island’s boarding team terminated the voyage of a recreational vessel with 13 people on board. The voyage was terminated due to having only 10 life jackets on board. Boaters are required to carry enough Coast Guard approved life jackets for everyone on board their vessel.

At 8:35 p.m. Saturday, Coast Guard Station New London’s boarding team terminated the voyage of a recreational vessel with three people on board due to the following violations: no fire extinguisher, no flares and no boater registration on board.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, Coast Guard Station Jones Beach’s boarding team terminated the voyage of a recreational vessel with 19 people on board. The vessel’s operator was observed operating without navigation lights in Reynolds Channel, N.Y. Field sobriety tests were administered to the operator, who was determined to be operating under the influence of alcohol.

At 4:40 p.m. Sunday, Sector Long Island Sound Command Center watchstanders received notification of a vessel taking on water with four people on board. Coast Guard Station Eaton’s Neck, Suffolk County Marine and SEATOW responded. SCPD transferred three of the four passengers to their vessel and escorted the boat operator safely back to shore.

Following that case, Station Eatons Neck boatcrew was diverted to a report of a vessel taking on water with eight people on board in Port Jefferson Harbor in Long Island Sound, N.Y. Port Jefferson Fire and SEATOW were assisting the boater when Station Eatons Neck boatcrew arrived.

At 5:44 p.m. Sunday, Sector Long Island Sound Command Center watchstanders received notification from TOWBoat U.S. of a vessel collision with injuries and one of the vessels taking on water in Lindenhurst, N.Y. A good samaritan responded, transferred the people off the sinking boat and assisted Coast Guard Station Fire Island’s boatcrew with transferring the injured passengers to the Station’s boat.

“The response to these cases could not have been done alone,” said Chief Petty Officer Frank S. Pierre, operations center chief at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “Our partner agencies, including Suffolk County Marine units and commercial salvage providers, were often the first to arrive on scene and provide immediate assistance to boaters in distress. These agencies were able to resolve the situations before they escalated into something worse and provided key information back to our communications center in order to better direct our response boatcrews.”

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