WEST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) - Rescuers say that they have found the body of a man who plunged into the sea after two boats collided off Long Island’s southern coast.
The Coast Guard said that the crash happened at about 4:50 a.m. on Saturday in the Great South Bay, just west of the Robert Moses Causeway near West Islip.
WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reports
A catamaran struck a 35-foot recreational boat and capsized. The two people on the catamaran were hospitalized. There is no word on the condition of those in the hospital.
The mother of one fisherman told CBS 2′s Rachel Stockman that the quick thinking of the fishing boat’s operator saved even more lives from being lost.
“My son said at the very last second they were able to whip the bpat, otherwise they would have been totally broad sided. God only know what would happen, this way they only hit the back, but the poor kid was in back,” said Laura Galante.
The man, identified as Christopher Mannino, 39, of West Islip, fell off the recreational fishing vessel — which had four others aboard — and disappeared. The four others were rescued safely.
“[Mannino] was ejected during the collision,” Eric Dawson of the Coast Guard told 1010 WINS. “We’re assisting Suffolk County in the search of this person in the water.”
Mannino’s family stood on the bridge above the Robert Moses Causeway throughout the search, crying and looking up to the air to pray.
“He was a fisherman, a boater,” the father-in-law of the victim told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall. “[It's hard] being up here watching.”
Mannino’s wife was screaming to the rescue workers in the boats below, hollering, “Please, he is my life! He is my life! Please find him!”
The Coast Guard said that divers and an aircraft participated in the search.
The operator of the skater boat that collided with Mannino’s boat has been identified as Brian Andreski, 26, of Dix Hills. Andreski is in the hospital and has been charged with Boating While Intoxicated.
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