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Long IslandSuffolk

5 men rescued from sinking fishing boat off Asharoken, cops say

Five Brentwood men out fishing were rescued by Suffolk County police Saturday night after their boat struck a rock and began taking on water in Long Island Sound, authorities said Sunday.

There were no injuries and all the men refused medical attention, according to police, who said the incident occurred about 9 p.m. east of Eaton’s Neck Lighthouse in Asharoken.

Francisco Aguilar, 34, and four friends were on a fishing trip in a 20-foot Pro Line runabout when the boat — operated by Aguilar — struck a submerged rock, damaging the engine’s lower unit and breaching the hull, causing the vessel to take on water.

After police were called, Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau officers responded aboard Marine Bravo along with Marine Delta, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Huntington Town Harbormaster, the Asharoken Police Department and a Suffolk police helicopter.

Reaching the scene in about seven minutes, Marine Bureau officers Charles Marchiselli and Erik Johnson took Aguilar and the four other men aboard the police boat, police said. The other men were identified as Walter Sanchez, 19, and brothers Banos Villalobos, 25, Jose Villalobos, 29, and Elmer Villalobos, 22.

Police said the Marine Bureau crew then began trying to keep the boat from sinking by attaching the vessel to the police boat and setting up a dewatering pump. Once the vessel was stabilized and in tow, the five men were taken to Soundview Ramp in Northport.

Conditions at the time of the rescue were northwest winds of 15 knots and 3- to 4-foot seas, police noted.

Police said Aguilar was issued two summonses for violations of the New York State Navigation Law, but the exact charges were not immediately available.

Officials reminded boaters to check the marine weather forecast before boating, make sure that properly sized life jackets are available for all passengers, and to check that all legally required safety equipment is aboard and is serviceable and accessible.

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