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Long IslandSuffolk

3 hurt in Atlantique boat-water taxi crash

Suffolk police and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating a collision between a motorboat and a water taxi that seriously injured two men early Sunday morning in the waters just off Atlantique Beach on Fire Island.

Police said the motorboat, a 20-foot Grady-White, collided with a 35-foot water taxi operated by Fire Island Water Taxi about 700 yards northwest of Atlantique. A Coast Guard spokeswoman said the guard received a call at about 2:30 a.m. reporting the collision.

No charges have been filed, police said.

The captain of the Grady-White, Anastasio Voudouris, 36, and passenger Paul Lapera, 37, both of West Babylon, suffered neck and back injuries and were airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center, police said.

Voudouris' father said later in the day that his son was released from the hospital and was recuperating at home.

"Luckily no one went into the water" after the collision, said Michael Voudouris, who added that the Grady-White, which he owned, was destroyed. "He's hurt -- bruises, bumps."

Lapera remained in the hospital, Michael Voudouris said. A spokesman for the Stony Brook hospital could not provide a condition for Lapera.

Another passenger on the Grady-White, Kevin Diaz, 35, of North Babylon, was taken by ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore for a foot injury. Two other passengers on the Grady-White and two passengers and two crew members on the water taxi were not seriously injured, police said.

A representative for Fire Island Water Taxi, which is based in Bay Shore, declined to comment.

Diaz said the accident was a scary conclusion to a pleasant night on Fire Island for the five friends. The accident occurred while the motorboat was headed west toward Captree State Park and the taxi was going north towards Bay Shore, he said.

"It was pretty devastating," he said.

Both boats were towed back to Atlantique. The investigation into the crash is ongoing, Coast Guard and police said.

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