BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two Long Island fishermen whose boat sank off a remote island are lucky to be alive.
Paul Salentino, 36, and John Rose, 51, were rescued 12 hours after their boat sank in the Great South Bay.
The men set off to go clamming around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, and their 14-foot boat sank in the choppy waters during a storm around 7:15 p.m.
Salentino said the boat started taking in water, which led them to abandon ship.
“The waves were breaking over us because the waves were really bad,” he told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.
“I told my friend to get out the boat, grabbed life preservers,” Salentino told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. “Soon as we got up and go to get out of the boat, boat turns to the right, flips over.”
Their cellphones and wallets were swept away by waves. They swam for about 45 minutes in the fog until they hit a marsh island on the western side of Captree Island.
Mother’s intuition helped lead to the men’s rescue, Hall reported.
“I said he is on the water. There’s something wrong,” Salentino’s mother Mary Buddenhagen said.
She went to the marina to wait for the men and then called 911 when they never arrived.
“I was praying, ‘God, bring them in. Bring them in. Let them be safe,’ ” Buddenhagen told Hall. “No matter what age they are, it’s your son.”
“i didnt give up hope,” Salentino told McLogan. “I knew my mother — if i don’t come home by a certain time, my mom starts to worry.”
When the men arrived on Captree Island, Salentino found a lighter in his pocket, and they built a bonfire. The bonfire helped Suffolk marine police locate the men around 7:30 a.m. Monday.
“When I saw him for the first time, I had to grab onto him and hold him,” Buddenhagen told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
Salentino and Rose were uninjured.
“God had his hand on us … and he would carry us through,” Rose said.
The Salentinos planned to get back on the water Tuesday, embarking on a cruise to the Bahamas.
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