Authorities rescued a 51-year-old man whose fishing boat caught fire, forcing him to jump overboard into the Atlantic Ocean before the boat sank off the coast of Point Lookout on Long Island on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 24, officials said.
The boater put out a distress call to authorities from his 50-foot-long Bertram fishing boat at 2:25 p.m. and 911 operators received multiple reports of a boat on fire at around the same, Nassau County police said. Town of Hempstead Bay Constables pulled the boater, whose name authorities did not release, from the water, according to members of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed at Jones Beach who were among multiple agencies that responded to the scene.
“The boat owner reports that he heard a loud bang, then his boat went on fire, and he jumped into the ocean, the boat sank a short time later,” police said in a news release.
The victim was taken to West Marina in Point Lookout. He suffered a minor laceration and refused medical treatment once he was back on land, police said. The boater was the sole occupant on board at the time.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officers, the Nassau County Police Department‘s Aviation Unit and Marine Bureau responded along with firefighters with the Long Beach and Wantagh Fire Departments.
The incident occurred near Jones Inlet buoys 1 and 2, the USCG said. The smoke could be seen as far away as Fire Island, according to beachgoers who reported seeing the cloud.