A passing boater pulled three people wearing life jackets from the Long Island Sound off Wading River on Saturday, the Coast Guard said.
The rescuer lifted the three from the water after their boat, a 14-foot aluminum skiff, capsized, the Coast Guard said Sunday. The three were swimming in the water for about an hour before being pulled to safety and returned to shore, according to a news release.
The next morning, watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, unaware of the rescue the previous day, were notified that a 14-foot aluminum skiff was adrift 6 miles north of Wading River, the release said.
Rescue crews from Coast Guard Station New Haven, the Wading River Fire Department, Suffolk County Marine Bureau and the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department responded. A Coast Guard crew found a cellphone in a plastic bag on the skiff. Based on information from the phone, the Coast Guard identified the owner of the skiff and confirmed they were home safe.
"This is a perfect example of how wearing life jackets saves lives," said Cmdr. Jonathan Theel, a search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound.
"They found themselves in a bad situation when their boat capsized, and since they chose to swim to shore, their life jackets kept them afloat -- especially when they became tired and needed to rest," Theel said in a statement.
Theel also praised the assistance of two boaters, the one who pulled the three from the water and the second, who reported the skiff adrift.
"Had it not been for the first Good Samaritan, they might have been in the water for several more hours," he said.