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2 water scooter riders reported missing are safe, Coast Guard says

Two water scooter riders who were reported missing along the South Shore near Freeport safely swam to shore, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said Sunday morning.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Steve Strohmaier said Juan Ulloa, 27, and Yalet Ulloa, 21, were aboard one personal watercraft when they left around 7 p.m. Saturday and were reported missing about two hours later.

“They were found safe,” Strohmaier said in a telephone interview Sunday. “Their jet ski flipped over and they weren’t able to restart it.”

Strohmaier said the watercraft flipped over in a marsh near west of the Meadowbrook Bridge.

“They swam to shore and flagged down a taxi” to go back to the Albany Avenue boat ramp in Freeport where they had departed from, Strohmaier said. He said the Ulloas are cousins, but there was no information immediately available about where they live.

Strohmaier said authorities searched the Reynolds Channel and waters off Cow Meadow Beach in Freeport before the Ulloas notified the Coast Guard at about 5 a.m. Sunday that they were safe.

Coast Guard Station Jones Beach will try to recover the watercraft, Strohmaier said.

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