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Nassau DA: Amityville man illegally fueled boats from tank truck

Gene Monahan, 57, of Amityville, was arrested on

Gene Monahan, 57, of Amityville, was arrested on charges of illegally fueling boats by dispensing gas directly from a tank truck, creating a fire hazard, Nassau prosecutors said on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. Credit: NCDA

An Amityville man who “ignored repeated written warnings” to stop fueling boats with gasoline dispensed directly from a tank truck has been arrested and charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and other fire code violations, county prosecutors said Thursday.

Gene Monahan, 57, the owner of Rising Tide Fuel LLC, was released on his own recognizance after Wednesday’s arraignment and is due back in court on Oct. 7, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.

In her statement, Singas said Monahan defied warnings “to stop dispensing highly flammable fuel in a dangerous and unlawful way that created a serious risk of fire and injury.”

The case was investigated by the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office and the district attorney’s environmental crimes unit.

Monahan and Rising Tide had been under investigation for “at least one year,” Singas said, adding that in July 2015 the fire marshal’s office learned the company was “allegedly dispensing gasoline directly from a tank truck into boats” located in marinas — or, sometimes, at private residences — in Nassau and Suffolk.

As a result, Singas said, Monahan was issued “numerous warnings and written notices” from the fire marshal’s office, but ignored them — continuing to make both home and marina deliveries in 2016. The hazard of such deliveries, authorities said, is that “passing flammable liquid such as gasoline through a truck hose can create static electricity at the nozzle area . . . ”

That, Singas said, can create “a serious risk of fire.”

In the account provided by the district attorney’s office, Nassau Fire Marshal division supervisor Vincent McManus said of the situation: “The in-water fueling of gasoline powered vessels must be done at an approved marine motor fuel dispensing facility,” adding that “to do otherwise is inherently dangerous.”

Singas said that while fuel deliveries from Monahan likely came at a lower price than neighboring marinas, the practices put the families and unsuspecting neighbors of customers at “serious risk of harm.” Records seized during the arrest indicate Rising Tide made what Singas called “hundreds of sales of gasoline” in Nassau and Suffolk this year alone.

It was not immediately clear if Monahan was represented by counsel.

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