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Missing Teen Boater Off Centre Island


By Rupert Deedes

A 19-year-old boater fell overboard on a midnight sail off Centre Island and Lloyd Neck, which resulted in a multi-day search. After three days intensive search, the Coast Guard has suspended its efforts.

The 19-year-old, whom police have not yet identified, fell off a 25-foot sailboat into the waters off Centre Island. He and an 18-year-old friend were sailing in Oyster Bay Harbor when he fell overboard around 11:30 p.m. last Monday.

The friend, unable to find the missing man, called friends on shore, who took another boat and rushed to the scene, but they could not find the missing man, either.

They called 911, and a multiagency search task force was formed, involving a Coast Guard small search boat from Eaton's Neck, helicopters from Air Station Cape Cod and Air Station Atlantic City, as well as Nassau police Marine Bureau, Emergency Services and Aviation Bureau officers, the NYPD Aviation Bureau, Oyster Bay constables, and members of the Bayville, Oyster Bay, and Centre Island fire departments. The Huntington Marine Department also assisted.

The authorities have not released the name of the missing man, or that of his friend, aboard the sailboat.

After three days search, the Guard confirmed that it was withdrawing its equipment from the search until further notice. Local agencies, however, including Nassau County police marine units, are continuing the search for the missing boater

The water temperatures in Long Island Sound are a cause for anxiety. The National Center for Cold Water safety notes that a body immersed in water of 50-60 degrees will lose its dexterity within in 10-15 minutes, followed by a loss of consciousness within 1-2-hours. At that temperature, expected survival time is between one and six hours.

This is the second boat accident in the region in as many weeks. Last week, James Jaronczyk, 28, of Massapequa, was thrown off his 22-foot powerboat into the Great South Bay. His body was found in the harbor four days after he went overboard.

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