2009-05-15 / Top Stories

Party Boat Rescues Jamaica Bay Anglers From Capsized Boat

A party boat carrying a group of teenagers celebrating prom night rescued six anglers who were floating on the frigid waters off Jamaica Bay when their boat capsized, according to a report in the Daily News.

The late night fishers' 25-foot flatdeck fishing vessel was heading back to shore around 1:15 a.m., Sunday morning, when high winds and rough tides dumped large amounts of water into the boat causing it to capsize, according to Salvatore "Cody" Catapano, owner of Sea Tow, a commercial salvage operation that often tows salvage boats abandoned in the bay.

Catapano and the captain, Dave Paris, heard the mayday calls over the radio and rushed to the scene, just west of the Marine Parkway Bridge where the water was hovering around 50 degrees, according to a Coast Guard spokesperson.

"They were freezing cold," Paris reported to the Daily News. "I don't know how much longer they could have survived in the open water."

"We were desperately trying to hold on to the boat," said 24-year-old Lisa Shaver to The News. "The boat started taking on a lot of water and we jumped off."

Paris called the Coast Guard and was told to go after them by following the spotlight of a police helicopter that also arrived at the scene.

"We pulled them out, wrapped them in blankets and [made a beeline] straight for the harbor," Catapano said. "One of the gentleman's lips were blue, he was falling into hypothermia."

All six were transported to Coney Island and Maimonides hospitals suffering from hypothermia, but were later released without injury. In addition, it is believed alcohol was not involved.

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