July 09--FIVE PEOPLE -- including a 7-year-old boy -- had to be rescued from the Long Island Sound off Wading River Sunday evening after the small paddle boat they were on capsized, police said.
Riverhead police said two men wearing life jackets were pulled from the water first. Searchers then found two women and the boy sitting atop the capsized paddle boat.
Police said of those three only the boy had a life jacket.
The incident began at 9:22 p.m. just east of the Riverhead Town Beach on Creek Road in Wading River when people heard calls for help coming from the darkness of the Sound. Riverhead dispatched officers, as well as a dive team, while Suffolk County police sent Marine Bureau units and an aviation unit and the Wading River Fire Department dispatched volunteers.
Police said a local boater named John Sackowitz retrieved his motorboat and picked up rescuers, including Tom Morris of Wading River, Mike Rabino of Queens and Riverhead police officer Patrick Lennon -- and said the men headed out on the Sound to see if they could locate the boaters who were in distress.
They found two men, identified as Jovany Fernandez, 25, of Patchogue, and Victor Saquicary, 28, of Patchogue, about a quarter offshore. Both men were wearing life jackets.
The rescuers were then directed to the capsized vessel, described by police as a 7-to-8-foot paddle boat, where they rescued Erica Perez, 20, of Patchogue, and Diana Beez, 23, of Bellport, and her son.
Once the trio also were safely out of the water the paddle boat was also towed back to shore, police said.
Police said the boaters said they had been fishing on the small boat when it was overturned by a wave.
Copyright 2012 - Newsday, Melville, N.Y.