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Cops: Body of second missing boater found in LI Sound

The search for a Bay Shore man missing from a capsized boat near Port Jefferson Harbor resumed on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2016. Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk police found the body of a Bay Shore man in the Long Island Sound Wednesday morning, a day after a Coast Guard crew pulled the body of his fishing partner from the water near where the pair’s boat capsized, authorities said.

Police said officers with the aviation section were searching the Sound at about 11:30 a.m. near the Old Field Lighthouse when they found the body, later identified as James Bilello 73.

The 20-foot Aquasport center console Bilello and his friend, Charles Petrie, 80, of Holtsville, used to go fishing capsized Tuesday.

Police and Coast Guard officials said they were called to the scene after a 911 call came in shortly before 3:30 p.m. reporting the overturned vessel.

A crew from the Coast Guard found Petrie’s body in the Sound later Tuesday, just west of the Port Jefferson Channel, not far from the boat, officials said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the two men who perished yesterday in Long Island Sound,” said Coast Guard Capt. Andrew Tucci, commander Sector Long Island Sound, in a statement. “We are grateful to the emergency responders from Suffolk Marine Police who assisted in the search efforts.”

The discovery of Bilello’s body came at the end of a nonstop Coast Guard overnight search that continued into Wednesday morning, a spokesman for the agency said.

Suffolk County’s Marine Bureau and its aviation section searched until sundown Tuesday, then resumed at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Marine Bureau officers had recovered the boat but there was no sign of Bilello, officials said.

Coast Guard searchers included an MH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, and smallboat teams from stations at Eatons Neck and New Haven, Connecticut.

With Gary Dymski

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