A dinghy carrying a boater when he went missing late Saturday afternoon on a trip from Gilgo Beach to a Lindenhurst marina washed up Sunday morning not far from his destination, Suffolk police said as authorities continued searching for the man.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Tyler Locatis said Andrew Weis, 48, left Gilgo Beach about 5:30 p.m. in a white and gray 13-foot dinghy for an approximately 25-minute trip to the Anchorage Yacht Club, located on the Great South Bay, west of the Robert Moses Causeway.
Suffolk County police said the empty dinghy washed up on Venetian Shores next to the club about 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
Based on damage to the boat, detectives said they believe Weis, of Lindenhurst, was involved in an accident.
According to a Coast Guard news release Sunday, the report of “an overdue boater” came in about 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
The news release said Weis’ girlfriend provided authorities with the time he left and said he was en route to the yacht club. The release added that Weis is an “experienced and strong swimmer who had a life jacket onboard.”
Searching for Weis Sunday were a small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fire Island, a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, Suffolk County marine and aircrews, and crews from the Babylon and West Babylon fire departments.
An urgent marine information broadcast also was being broadcast to all mariners along the Long Island coast.
Locatis, who is assigned to the Coast Guard’s Fire Island station, said by telephone Sunday that a total of 134 square nautical miles had been searched, from Amityville to Heckscher State Park.
Weis was alone when he boarded the dinghy, Locatis said, and was believed to be on his way to the yacht club for the evening “to gather and hang out with friends.”
The news release said Weis was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, beige shorts and a white hat.
Billy Jennings, the yacht club’s manager, said Weis is a member and that he believed he had joined recently.
Jennings said he knew little about the findings of the investigation so far but he said the president of the club had been talking with police detectives.
Locatis said Weis kept the dinghy moored at the club.
“Everything is kind of fluid as to what’s going on,” Jennings said in a telephone interview Sunday.
Andy DiFebo, a security guard at the club, said police had asked for surveillance camera footage.
Police said anyone with information could call First Squad detectives at 631-854-8152 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477. People also can call the Coast Guard at 203-468-4421.