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Nighttime accident proves fatal

SEPT. 22 — A woman died Wednesday morning after the 92-foot sailboat she was on collided with a 600-foot freighter in western Long Island Sound, north of Riverhead, N.Y.

The woman, identified by Coast Guard authorities as Gina Bortolotti, was a cook aboard Essence, a Ted Hood-designed yacht. Essence was headed to Greenwich, Conn., from Newport, R.I., when it collided with the freighter at about 4 a.m., according to a Coast Guard news release. The yacht, which was available for members of an invitation-only vacation club, sank in about 90 feet of water.

Coast Guard authorities at Sector Long Island Sound received a mayday call from the crew of the freighter, named Barkald, shortly after 4 a.m., the release reports. A rescue crew arrived on the scene about 20 minutes later and rescued the yacht’s first mate, Nardus “Blue” Bothma. He was taken to an area hospital and treated for mild hypothermia. Ian Robberts, the yacht’s captain, was pulled from the water by the crew of the freighter and was reported to be in good health.

The Barkald, that was transporting coal between Bridgeport, Conn., and Halifax, Nova Scotia, was ordered to an anchorage near New Haven, Conn., pending an investigation, the release says. Details such as weather conditions and what caused the collision were not immediately available.

— Jason Fell