Boater rescued from Fire Island inlet stranding

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A boater operating a skiff without working navigation lights had to be rescued after becoming stranded on the ocean side of the new Fire Island inlet in heavy fog early Thursday, police said.

Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau officers were alerted to the stranding in a 911 call received at 12:45 a.m. Police said that the operator, identified as Luigi Moscardino, 48, of Bay Avenue, Patchogue, "stated he became disoriented in heavy fog" and that his boat, a 19-foot Carolina skiff with a 50-hp. outboard engine, was carried through the inlet -- and out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The new inlet, created by superstorm Sandy in October, is in the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness area, near a spot known as the Old Inlet.

The inlet connects Great South Bay to the Atlantic.

Police said after receiving the 911 call, Marine Bureau officers and the U.S. Coast Guard began a search, locating Moscardino and his boat on a sandbar in the Bellport Bay area about 2:30 a.m.

Police said Marine Bureau Officers Charles Abbene, Steven Tarolli, Edward Bodenmiller, Raymond Cairo and James Blydenburgh got Moscardino aboard their boat, Marine Mike, and took him ashore.

The skiff was towed to the Bellport Marina, police said.

Moscardino was not injured, but police said he was issued summonses for equipment violations on his boat.

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