After Ten Minutes In Bay, New Boat Owner Calls 911
By Howard Schwach
Things were going well, Marrero told The Wave, and he was sure that even though he had never sailed before, he could handle anything that came along.
"I had the manual that the boat's previous owner had given me and he showed me all about the boat," Marrero said. "What could go wrong?"
Then, about 10 minutes after the boat had left the public boat ramp at Beach Channel High School on Sunday evening, the engine coughed and conked out.
Marrero said that he checked the manual and tried to restart the engine. That didn't work.
"We were drifting toward Broad Channel and the Cross Bay Bridge," he said. "Water started to come up over the side of the boat."
Although the manual told him to check the bilge pump, and it looked dry, Marrero, who owns a Brooklyn driving school and lives in Marine Park, decided it was time to call 911.
The response was almost instantaneous, according to Marrero.
"It was like something out of a movie," he said. "People jumping from helicopters and fireboats. My daughter began to cheer."
The ex-police officer, who worked in the 83 Precinct in Brooklyn, said that he was a little embarrassed by the response, but he was glad to see those who came to help him back to shore.
"I guess that my inexperience showed and I needed help," he said sheepishly.
Nobody was harmed, but Marrero says that he will seek the advice of professionals before he ventures out into the water again.
Marrero is glad that it's over. He's equally glad that his family members kept their heads and that that he had his cell phone.
A Fire Department spokesperson said that the incident was one of many that he sees in the bay each year and that the department was glad to see that everybody aboard the small boat was wearing a life vest.
"When the rules are obeyed, things come out all right, even in an emergency," the spokesperson said.