Scattered Clouds 48° Good Afternoon
Scattered Clouds 48° Good Afternoon
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Two die, 3 in hospital after boat capsizes in Jamaica Bay, officials say

Two Brooklyn men died after being pulled from the choppy waters of Jamaica Bay when their boat capsized Friday night off Floyd Bennett Field in southeast Brooklyn, police said.

Ricardo Mejia, 42, of Crown Heights, and Joel Ortiz, 50, of Flatbush, were killed after water filled their fishing boat shortly before 8 p.m., causing it to overturn, according to the NYPD.

Mejia and Ortiz were pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in Brooklyn after being pulled from the water, police said.

An FDNY spokesman said three other Brooklyn men in the approximately 13-foot vessel were rescued and taken to Coney Island Hospital in stable condition. The men, ages 33, 37 and 48, were treated for hypothermia and other injuries, the fire department said.

The survivors told authorities that large waves began to crash over the sides of the boat. They tried to manually bail out the water, but the engine failed and the boat overturned on its port side, police said.

Mejia's sister, Miriam Acosta, 43, said her younger brother loved to fish. Acosta, who lives in Long Beach, California, spoke on the telephone through her 17-year-old son Danny who translated from Spanish.

Growing up in Honduras with five other siblings, Mejia and Acosta had always been close, she said Saturday. Acosta said her brother leaves behind a wife and five children.

"She wants to say for him to rest in peace, and that she's going to miss him, that he was a good brother and that she really loves him," Acosta's son said.

Family members of Ortiz could not immediately be reached by phone Saturday.

With Laura Blasey

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