Coast Guard credits Good Samaritans for saving 3, reporting capsized vessel

1st Coast Guard District News
NEW YORK – A Good Samaritan rescued three people from the water near Wadding River, July 12, 2014.

While transiting the area by boat, the Good Samaritan discovered three people in life jackets in the water, brought them aboard, and returned them safely back to shore.

They were reported to have been swimming for nearly an hour after their 14-foot aluminum skiff capsized.

The next morning watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, unaware of the rescue the night before, received notification from another Good Samaritan of a 14-foot aluminum skiff adrift six miles north of Wadding River. Rescue crews from Coast Guard Station New Haven, Wadding River Fire Department, Suffolk County Marine Bureau, and Suffolk County Sherriff’s Department launched.

Once on scene with the skiff, the Coast Guard crew discovered a cell phone in a plastic bag, two full plastic water bottles, an electric trolling motor, and about 30 to 40 gallons of seawater aboard. Aided by the cell phone, the Coast Guard identified the owner of the vessel and confirmed they were home safe. Later, the owner of the vessel contacted the Coast Guard explaining once the boat capsized, the crew decided to swim for shore.

“This is a perfect example of how wearing life jackets saves lives,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Theel, a search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound.

“They found themselves in a bad situation when their boat capsized, and since they chose to swim to shore, their life jackets kept them afloat – especially when they became tired and needed to rest,” he said.

Theel also emphasized the critical role of Good Samaritans in the rescue. “Had it not been for the first Good Samaritan, they might have been in the water for several more hours.”

He said the second Good Samaritan, who located the troubled vessel, did the right thing by immediately contacting the Coast Guard and providing the command center with an accurate description and location of the vessel.

“This is a situation that might’ve ended much worse, had it not been for the vigilance of our local boating community,” he said.

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