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Hovercraft rescues boaters in shallow water in LI bay, police say

The Hampton Bays Fire Department's hovercraft retrieved a man and his son after a commercial salvage operator and the Suffolk Police Marine Bureau couldn't navigate the shallow waters in New Inlet, police said.

The Suffolk Police Marine Bureau was called to

The Suffolk Police Marine Bureau was called to Bellport Bay after two boaters ran aground in shallow waters on Thursday night, police said. Photo Credit: Stringer News Service

Two boaters stranded in the shallow waters of Bellport Bay on Thursday waited more than five hours until the right watercraft was sent to bring the father and son to safety, police said.

Jake Laznovsky, 32, and his father, Jim Laznovsky, 62, both of Lindenhurst, were operating a 25-foot 1993 Cougar Cat when the craft ran aground in New Inlet about 6 p.m., police said in a news release.

The men contacted a commercial salvage operator, who attempted but failed to reach the pair because the water was too shallow, police said.

The salvage operator asked the Suffolk County Police Department Marine Bureau to help, but they couldn’t get to the Cougar Cat either.

"Marine Kilo [a police patrol boat] deployed a small shallow draft boat, but the shallow water prevented it from reaching the two men,” police said.

The police asked the Hampton Bays Fire Department to assist. Two firefighters launched the fire department's hovercraft, an amphibious vehicle that hovers on a cushion of pressurized air, police said. And that did it.

The hovercraft shuttled the Laznovskys to Marine Kilo, the 40-foot-long police patrol boat, police said. The Kilo took the men, who were not hurt, to Forge River Marina in Mastic.

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