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Long IslandSuffolk

Stranded boat guided back to shore in storm, police say

Suffolk County police said they guided four stranded boaters out of a severe thunderstorm on Friday night.

Two marine bureau officers were patroling in “zero visibility conditions” about 10:35 p.m. when they spotted something on radar in Long Island Sound, police said in a news release.

When the officers approached, they found four men adrift in an open boat about a half-mile off Northport trying to restart the engine in the downpour.

Police said Fermin Ortiz, 39, of Brentwood, and three passengers launched the 14-foot aluminum boat for a fishing trip out of Northport about 8 p.m., despite a National Weather Service severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado watch for western Long Island Sound.

As marine bureau Officers Erik Johnson and Gary Quenzer brought their police boat alongside the stranded vessel, Ortiz was able to start the engine of the 1951 Sea Nymph.

Police said the officers guided the fishermen back to Soundview Boat Ramp in Northport. None of the men were hurt, police said.

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