Suffolk Marine Bureau officers rescued three people from the Great South Bay as they were trying to pull their disabled boat to shore with a rope Friday evening.

Police said Officers Christopher DeFeo and Robert Wylie got a distress call over the marine VHF radio from a passerby who said three people were in the water near their disabled 17-foot boat about a half-mile south of Heckscher State Park at 6:48 p.m. The three men were wearing life vests and told police they had been in the water for about 45 minutes, police said.

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The officers got boat owner Christopher Williams, 18, of Brentwood, and his two male friends out of the water and brought them on board patrol vessel Marine Juliet. They then towed the boat to the ramp at Heckscher State Park in East Islip.

After the officers conducted a safety check, Williams was cited for not carrying visual distress signals and for having a discharged fire extinguisher in the boat, police said.

To stay safe on the water, police said, the Marine Bureau suggests boaters make sure all required safety equipment is on board and operable, leave a "float plan" with someone on shore with a planned destination and expected return time, and carry a cellphone or marine VHF radio in case of an emergency.