Good Samaritan Rescues Six Boaters in East River

NEW YORK–A good Samaritan rescued six people from a partially submerged recreational boat after it was overtaken by strong currents in the Hell Gate area in the East River at 3:15 p.m today.

The Coast Guard received a radio distress call at 3:15 p.m. from the operator of the 17-foot pleasure boat that they were unable to navigate through Hell Gate and were taking on water. The pleasure boat Lisa Marie was nearby and rescued the six boaters before New York Police Department and Coast Guard rescue boats could arrive on scene. The six boaters, who were not wearing life jackets, were reported in good physical condition.

The Lisa Marie took the boaters to shore.

The NYPD vessel pulled the boat out of the strong current and took it to a nearby salvage pier.

Hell Gate, a narrow channel of the East River between Wards Island and Astoria, Queens, in New York City, is notorious among boaters and mariners for its strong tidal currents. It is at the confluence of the Harlem River, Long Island Sound and Upper New York Harbor.

The Coast Guard recommends that all recreational boaters wear life jackets, especially children and those who are weaker swimmers. Nearly 90% of boating fatalities in 2005 were not wearing life jackets. The Coast Guard also recommends taking boating safety classes before going out on the water.

“It’s always good to take a boating safety class prior to engaging in any kind of boating activities,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Pekarski, a Station New York officer of the day.

To get more information about boating safety classes visit the Coast Guard Auxiliary website.

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