2003-09-12 / Community

Coast Guard Rescue Off Rockaway Shore

Coast Guard Rescue Off Rockaway Shore

Fisherman Michael Fenga and two of his friends got the ride of their lives last Tuesday, when they were picked up from Fenga’s floundering boat, "Maria," by Coast Guard helicopters two miles off the Rockaway shore.

Fenga, of Staten Island, and his two friends, William Mieschberger and Frank Curran, were fishing off Rockaway when the engine in the 24-foot boat quit.

Fenga called a commercial boat towing company on his cell phone, but that company had no boats immediately available.

Heavy waves began to buffet the boat, and Fenga called a mayday to the Coast Guard.

By the time the Coast Guard responded from its New Jersey base, however, the waves were so high that a boat-to-boat rescue became impossible, and a helicopter was called in.

A rescue diver was put into the water and he made his way to the boat. The men were then placed, one by one, into a rescue basket and pulled up to the copter.

The three men were taken to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, where they were picked up by a family member and taken home.

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