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Coast Guard rescues man, boy, dog from capsized boat off Cedar Beach

The trio was brought back to the Coast Guard's Fire Island station to be evaluated, a spokesman said.

Seaman Tristan Beatty with Pepper after the rescue

Seaman Tristan Beatty with Pepper after the rescue in the waters off Cedar Beach on Saturday morning. Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man, his son and their dog from the waters off Cedar Beach on Saturday morning, a spokesman said.

Brian Bair, 47, of Copiague, and Nolan, 9, were recovering at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, according to Jennifer Bair, 42, Bair's wife and Nolan's mother. Their dog Pepper, a 5-year-old female yellow Lab, was also doing well.

"They're stable, they're just being observed," she said. "It could have been so much worse."

Bair said her husband and son left their home about 7 a.m. to fish for stripers on their 26-foot boat in the Fire Island Inlet. She said both she and her husband are experienced boaters who "go through that inlet all the time" and called her son "Brian's little fishing buddy."

There was a small craft advisory from the National Weather Service at the time, warning of seas of 4 to 7 feet for waters off the South Shore.

The conditions turned rough Saturday morning when a "freak rogue wave" crashed over the back of the boat, capsizing it, Jennifer Bair said. The boat flipped, trapping them underneath.

"Brian quickly got them out on top of the boat," she said, adding that they were "hanging onto the engine basically." 

A Good Samaritan hailed the Coast Guard over the radio about 8:30 a.m. after spotting the capsized boat, Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier said. Only Nolan was wearing a life preserver.

A crew on the Coast Guard’s 45-foot response boat found the trio about 8:45 a.m. and pulled them onto the boat, he said. They were taken to the Coast Guard's station on Fire Island before going to the hospital.

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