Suffolk officers help 2 men escape sinking sailboat during storm in Fire Island Pines Harbor
Suffolk officers helped two men escape from their sinking sailboat during a major storm in Fire Island Pines Harbor on Saturday.
Suffolk Officer William Houst and three other Marine Bureau officers responded to a call for a boat accident at 1 a.m. Saturday. Officers say they realized that the only way to save the two men was to get them to jump over onto their police boat.
“They were very reluctant to do it, but when we explained as best as we can, in the rain and wind that that’s their only chance to get off their boat, they were more than willing to jump,” Houst says.
Officer Michael Klarmann says their options were limited. “At first, we try to get the lines off the boat so we could tow it out of there…that wasn’t going to work,” Klarmann says.
“We were dealing with about 3 to 4 footers in the bay and in the harbor,” Houst says. “The boats in the marina were going about 3 to 4 feet.”
"Their boat was getting battered by a second boat…just getting slammed down on top of it,” Houst says.
During the rescue, Officer Steven Squires was injured.
He's now at home recovering. The men who were saved on the boat, one from Jersey City and one from Brooklyn, are safe and staying in a hotel room on Fire Island.