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Montauk fisherman, 24, dies of shipboard injuries

This family handout shows Donald Alversa, 24, a

This family handout shows Donald Alversa, 24, a commercial fisherman who was killed in a boat accident on Sept. 7 off the North Carolina coast. Alversa was pronounced dead at a Virginia hospital after a rescue effort by the Coast Guard. Credit: Handout

A commercial fisherman from Montauk died after a wire snapped and struck him aboard a vessel working off North Carolina, authorities said Sunday.

Crew aboard the 90-foot Jason and Danielle called the Coast Guard at 8:30 p.m. Saturday reporting that a man had been cut in the head and neck, Brandyn Hill, a Coast Guard spokesman, said.

Hill did not name the man, citing Coast Guard policy, but the family of Donald Alversa, 24, and a spokeswoman for the hospital where he was taken confirmed his identity.

The vessel was 45 miles northeast of the Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks when the accident occurred, and it took an hour for an MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter to reach it. Coast Guard personnel performed CPR but Alversa's condition worsened en route to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va., where he was met by an emergency rescue crew, Hill said. A hospital spokeswoman confirmed that he died there after arrival.

How the accident occurred was not immediately known, said Alversa's brother, Ken Alversa, an East Hampton Town police officer.

The Coast Guard is investigating but will not release any information on the cause of the accident until its investigation is complete, Hill said.

Donald Alversa attended East Hampton High School. His Facebook page says he also studied at Hudson Canyon University -- not, apparently, an institute of higher learning but a joking reference from a professional fisherman to the fish-rich canyon that extends from the New York Harbor 400 miles out to sea and 10,500 feet down.

From the time he was done with high school, "he started fishing and he never stopped," Ken Alversa said.

Donald Alversa had worked aboard the Jason and Danielle for about two years, he said. The 298-ton vessel works out of Montauk and Cape May, N.J., and Alversa was frequently gone for a week at a time.

Upon returning to port, the crew sometimes packed out the catch and headed straight back to sea.

A principal in that company, Hank Lackner, of Montauk, was driving to Cape May to meet the vessel, his wife, Cheryl Lackner, said.

Donald Alversa's family is making funeral arrangements.


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