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Marine officers rescue 3 men from overturned canoe in LI Sound, police say

Suffolk police Marine Bureau officers rescued three men

Suffolk police Marine Bureau officers rescued three men after their canoe overturned in the Long Island Sound in Northport on Friday. Credit: SCPD

Three canoeists, only one of whom had a life jacket on, were hauled out of the Long Island Sound by Suffolk marine police officers after their craft overturned on Friday, authorities said.

The trio was spotted clinging to the side of their canoe by a power plant worker in Northport, who called the marine bureau, Suffolk County police said in a statement.

Barbara Albergo, an electrical production clerk for National Grid, said Saturday that when she passed by a second-story window while walking to her office at the Northport Power Station about 2:30 p.m., she noticed something unusual in the water.

“I couldn’t figure out what it was. I thought it might be a marine animal,” said Albergo, 52, of Medford. “Then I saw the canoe come up with a red bottom.”

Albergo said she walked to her supervisor’s office and asked him to try to spot the object and zoom in with a security camera. They ran between the window and the cameras to pinpoint the location. Then it became clear: Three men were clinging to the boat. The National Grid employees called police.

Officers Paul Carnival, Keith Walters and John Falcone responded about 2:50 p.m. and reached the men in about 3 minutes, police said.

According to police, Javier Villatoro, 27, of Brentwood, the sole canoeist wearing a life jacket, his brother Jose Villatoro, 25, of Central Islip, and Odir Vilorio, 30, of Huntington Station, were brought to the Soundview boat ramp in Northport on the police craft Marine Bravo.

They all declined medical attention, police said.

Albergo said she couldn’t usually see that part of the Sound from her office and didn’t often pause walking by the window. It was only a passing glance at the right angle that allowed her to spot the men, she said.

“It was the perfect circumstances for us to notice it,” Albergo said. “I was so relieved when they were safe.”

CORRECTION: The canoers were spotted by a National Grid worker. An earlier version of this story had an incorrect title for the worker based on information from police.

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