A Seaford man was arrested and charged with boating while intoxicated after his two passengers ended up in the Atlantic Ocean 1 mile off Jones Beach and had to be rescued by lifeguards in a rowboat, Nassau County police said Monday.
Nassau County Police Insp. Kenneth Lack, at a briefing Monday at police headquarters in Mineola, said that several minutes passed before the boat's operator, Anthony J. Marmo, 36, of 2292 Oakdale Lane, realized two passengers were gone and "out of sight."
According to court documents, Marine Bureau police, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, responded to a call on Sunday of two persons overboard in the Atlantic Ocean off Jones Beach in Wantagh. The two were assisted by the Town of Hempstead bay constable, who located Marmo's vessel and escorted him back to the Jones Beach Coast Guard station.
Marmo was given a field sobriety test and preliminary breath test that registered .08 percent blood-alcohol content, or legally drunk, at about 9:30 p.m., officials said.
This is the fifth boating-while-intoxicated arrest in Nassau County this season, police said.
According to the documents, Marmo told police: "We were out fishing and the guys were just gone." One of the passengers, Brandon Gordon, 37, fell off the stern of the 23-foot Trophy fishing boat and another passenger, Joseph Facella, 32, jumped into the water to assist Gordon without notifying Marmo.
It's believed Gordon fell as a result of rough seas, losing his footing as he was standing at the rear of the boat, Lack said. Ocean conditions were rough with a large swell near the shoreline, according to court documents.
Lifeguards at Jones Beach saw them in the water and took a rowboat out to save them. After being plucked from the Atlantic, Gordon and Facella were taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow for observation and evaluation, police said.
When Marmo realized the men were not on the boat, he contacted the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance, the documents said. In the report, police described Marmo as having bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and an odor of alcohol on his breath. He told police he had "a couple of beers at 5 p.m." and that he had his last one at 5:45 p.m.
Marmo was released after he was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead and a judge set bail at $15,000 bond or $750 cash. His next court date was set for July 25.