The federal maritime agency said officials at the Coast Guard Sector Long Island received a report that there was a vessel on fire near the Shinnecock Inlet. When crews arrived, they found the 36-foot boat fully engulfed in flames. The three people who were aboard jumped into the water and swam to a life raft they deployed.
“The owner remained on the phone with me up until the very end and the fire was burning out of control,” said petty officer second class Patrick Rogers. “He told me ‘I have to get off this boat!’”
In a news release, Rogers said the owner emptied his portable fire extinguisher trying to quell the flames, but was unsuccessful. He said they were “lucky” to have a life raft aboard the boat.
“They had only been in the water for a few minutes and they were already showing signs of mild hypothermia.”
The unidentified boaters were brought back to shore and treated at the Oakland Marina by first responders.
Officials said firefighters were battling flames until the boat sank in the Shinnecock Inlet.