Boat sinks off of Great Captains Island, no one injured

A sinking vessel on the south side of Great Captain’s Island prompted the employment of multi-jurisdictional law enforcement Sunday morning, but resulted in no injuries for the three people aboard.

According to Greenwich police, Westchester County, Rye and the United States Coast Guard, along with marine units from Greenwich, responded to the area south of Great Captain’s Island on the report of a sinking vessel around 8:30 Sunday morning. A helicopter from Westchester County Police Department also responded to the scene.

At the time the vessel began to sink, three people were aboard the boat. Wearing life jackets, two of them entered the water and swam to the south shore of the island. The owner remained with the stricken vessel.

A Westchester County aviation unit landed on the north shore of Great Captain’s Island to gauge the state of the individuals that swam to shore, while the owner of the sunken vessel was transferred aboard the Westchester County marine unit. All three individuals were checked on scene by a Greenwich EMS Marine Paramedic that was onboard the Greenwich vessel who confirmed that none of the parties had been injured.

The group was then transported to the Greenwich police dock and secured transportation home. The sunken boat was dewatered and towed by a private salvage company. The Greenwich Police Department’s Marine Section continues to investigate the incident but no violations have been reported at this time. Police believe the cause of the incident was due to the failure of two main through hull bolts securing the transmission to the engine.

During the incident, the boaters used a cell phone when trouble first started instead of utilizing the marine version of 911 — VHF channel 16 — which ultimately resulted in a larger problem. Police are reminding the boating community that VHF channel 16 is the designated emergency channel that is monitored by police departments and the U.S. Coast Guard. All calls for help or assistance should be initiated on channel 16 and can be switched to a non priority channel after this initial communication.

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