Southold bay constables and a search team from the Coast Guard found Michael George Young, 30, at 11:03 p.m., according to the Southold Town police. A Southold K-9 Unit, a Suffolk County police aviation unit, a Coast Guard aviation unit and Plum Island security also were involved.
Officials said Young set out from Port of Egypt in Southold en route to Old Saybrook.
He was in the 13-foot whaler. He had 6 gallons of gas.
But the outboard engine broke not long after Young left port - and a police constable said the boat then drifted onto the rocks of Plum Island.
Officials said Young was lucky, because if he hadn't ended up on the island his boat likely would have continued drifting eastward out to sea.
Plum Island is home to a classified animal disease research center run by the Department of Agriculture and protected by the Department of Homeland Security. Access to the island is highly restricted.
Police said Young would not be charged with trespassing on the restricted site because he did not intend to land there.