A bad idea poorly executed


SEPT. 24 — Even the Coast Guard couldn’t believe this rescue case.

A New York man was stopped by a Coast Guard crew Wednesday when he was found struggling to tow his 35-foot powerboat some 20 miles from Bay Shore, N.Y., to Freeport, N.Y., by paddling his 9-foot inflatable Zodiac dinghy, according to a Coast Guard news report.

He started towing from a marina about 5:30 a.m. in strong currents, but had only managed about 100 yards in three hours when the Coast Guard and Islip Harbor Police stopped him.

“This is one of the most unsafe things I may have ever seen a boater do,” said Lt. Steven Koch from Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, according to the report. “Not only did he only go 100 yards in three hours, he wasn’t even wearing a life jacket when we stopped him.”

It was about 8:30 a.m. when the Islip Harbor Police rescue crews arrived on the scene and found the man, still in his dinghy, taking a break.

Coast Guard Station Fire Island rescue crew towed the fishing boat 100 yards and directed the owner to anchor. The man then boarded the Coast Guard rescue boat with the Zodiac in tow and went ashore.

The Islip Harbor Police then towed the boat back to the marina and issued the owner a New YorkState and Town of Islip summons for unsafe operation and hazard to navigation, according to the report.

The Coast Guard did not give a reason for why the boat was disabled or why the man thought this was a good idea.

— Elizabeth Ellis