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Cops: Clammer who swam after drifting boat dies

Southampton Town police are investigating the death of a man who was clamming Monday with a relative in Flanders Bay and apparently drowned when he swam after their drifting boat.

Police in a Tuesday news release said the two men -- who are family members -- were working ground in an area north of Birch Creek at about 2:30 p.m. when wind and tidal conditions caused their aluminum boat to come off its anchor and drift from them.

One of the men began to swim toward the vessel, and the other man lost sight of the victim and "realized that he did not reach the boat," the release said. "He began to yell and signal for help. A passing vessel responded to the calls."

Those on the passing vessel were able to find the victim near the drifting boat and a distance from shore, police said. He was put on the vessel until the Coast Guard arrived and then later pronounced dead at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

Southampton Town police, Southampton Town Bay constables, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance responded, police said.

Police said vigorous and continued efforts were undertaken to resuscitate the victim.

The release said the Suffolk County medical examiner's office has been notified and will assist in determining the cause of death.

The name of the victim is not being released during the ongoing investigation, police said.

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