Three people were rescued Sunday after they were forced to abandon a 36-foot cabin cruiser when it caught fire at sea off Shinnecock.
A good Samaritan contacted Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound to report the vessel near the Shinnecock Inlet, according to the Coast Guard. Coast Guard Station Shinnecock sent a rescue crew and Southampton Bay Constables also responded.
“The owner remained on the phone with me up until the very end and the fire was burning out of control, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Rogers, of Coast Guard Station Shinnecock. “He told me ‘I have to get off this boat!'”
The owner tried to put put the fire with a portable extinguisher, but was unsuccessful. He and the two passengers swam to a life raft. “They were lucky they had a deployable life raft onboard and were close enough to shore,” Rogers said.
The rescue crew took the three people—two of whom were wearing lifejackets–to meet Hampton Bay first responders at the Oakland Marina for medical attention.
“They had only been in the water for a few minutes and they were already showing signs of mild hypothermia,” Rogers said.
North Sea Fire Department fought the fire until the boat sank. The vessel was not deemed a hazard to navigation, the Coast Guard stated.