The Wantagh Fire Department Marine Dive teamwas requested by the US Coast Guard at about 9:30am on Monday morning to respond to Zach’s Bay near the Jones Beach Theatre for an overturned boat, according to Department spokesman Kevin Regan. It was unknown if there were victims in the water or trapped in the vessel.
“Due to extremely hazardous conditions as the result of rough water from a coastal storm, additional resources were requested including the Freeport FD Marine Unit as well as boats from the NCPD and Town of Hempstead Bay Constable, who provided a safety zone around the area to prevent any additional boats from approaching and creating additional hazards,” Regan said.
Wantagh FD Marine One, Piloted by Captain Chris Gross responded under the Command of Captain Bill VanLeer. The crew consisted of Ex-Captain Joe Gross and Erik Paine. Dive Team personnel included Ex-Captains Tom Brandon and Bill Stevens as well as Lieutenants Steven Burke and Alex Errico.
According to Regan, “Ex-Captains Brandon and Stevens entered the water in a high-risk, low frequency“ event, where they entered the water up-wind of the vessel and floated into the partially submerged hull to search for victims. Fortunately none were located, however additional search of the water was suspended due to the extreme danger to emergency personnel. The USCG remained on scene to secure the vessel and conduct an investigation.”
Additional Wantagh FD units on the scene included Rescues 1, 3 and 5, and the Safety Officer. All units were released from the scene at approximately 1115 am with no injuries reported.