Boat Capsizes in Great South Bay, Boater Rescued by Good Samaritan

A Good Samaritan rescued a boater in the Great South Bay on Saturday night.

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Babylon, NY - April 25, 2015 - A Good Samaritan rescued a boater in the Great South Bay tonight.

Douglas Hassell was operating his 1987 20’ Sportcraft outboard boat on the Great South Bay west of Robert Moses Causeway in Babylon, when he noticed the vessel was rapidly taking on water. Hassell steered his vessel toward shallow water and called the 800 number for TowBoat US, a commercial salvage company, who dispatched a tow boat and notified the United States Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard then issued a request for assistance over Marine VHF radio Channel 16, which was picked up by Suffolk Police Marine Bureau officers in Marine Kilo, who responded to the location. Suffolk Police also dispatched a second rescue boat and a helicopter from the Aviation Section.

Hassel put on a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) before his vessel capsized, and climbed atop the overturned hull to await rescue.

A Captain from Reynolds TowBoat US was the first to arrive on scene and took Hassell aboard the tow boat, followed shortly after by Suffolk Police Officers aboard Marine Kilo and a US Coast Guard vessel from Station Fire Island.

Hassell, 51, of West Islip, was uninjured and refused medical attention. He was taken aboard the police vessel for transport to Babylon Cove. The vessel was taken into tow by Reynolds TowBoat US.

The Suffolk Police Marine Bureau reminds boaters that the waters surrounding Suffolk County are currently quite cold, approximately 50 degrees in the Great South Bay and 43 degrees in the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean.  Under New York State law, anyone underway in a boat less than 21 feet in length anytime between November 1 and May 1 must wear a securely fastened life jacket. This includes canoes, kayaks, rowboats and motorboats.

The best way to call for help on the water is to call 911, or call the US Coast Guard on Marine VHF radio Channel 16.