Boat Accidents

Captain killed, three rescued after tugboat sinks

Two Jersey Shore residents were among three people rescued Saturday after a tug boat sank off Fire Island National Park in New York, killing the boat’s captain, according to Suffolk County Police.

Jason Reimer, 38, of the Leonardo section of Middletown and Rainer Bendixen, 22, of Bay Head were rescued along with their crewman Lars Vetland, 43, of Staten Island by a Coast Guard boat launched from Fire Island, according to police and the Coast Guard.

The three were able to put on survival suits when their 62-foot tugboat, the Sea Bear, sank around 2 p.m. about a mile south of Barrett Beach, according to Suffolk Police. One of the crew had a cellphone inside the survival suit and was able to call for help, police said.

However, their on-duty captain Donald Maloney was not able to put on a survival suit, became separated from the three crewmates, and died, police said. He was found after 5 p.m. by a tugboat and was later declared dead by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

The water was about 40-degrees at the time the boat sank, and the three surviving crew members suffered hypothermia, according to Coast Guard officials. Police said they did not require medical treatment.

The boat was based in Bayonne, but was working on a dredging project off Moriches, N.Y. before it sank, according to Suffolk Police.

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