LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island boater is recovering after spending a long night stranded on a marsh.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the 60-year-old man spent 17 hours on a small boat in Reynolds Channel off Long Beach before help arrived.

Nassau County police got a call for help from a friend of the stranded fisherman around 7:30 a.m. They were able to reach him on his cellphone.

“He said, ‘please help me, please help me, I need your help, come quick,’” Nassau County Police Marine Bureau Officer Michael Beard told Gusoff.

Officers said they found the 60-year-old huddled on the bow of his boat, unresponsive.

“He called a friend this morning, and when they finally were able to reach him by phone — Marine Bureau — the man was in total distress. He had been out there all night,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder

“We were sounding the siren, and he was making no movement at all,” Beard said.

Police whisked the shivering and dazed victim to shore.

He explained his boat ran aground Tuesday afternoon. He waited for the tide to free his grounded boat, but that never happened.

Police have not released the man’s name, but said he remains hospitalized and there is little doubt the officers saved his life.

“Things change very quickly on the water. As you know, it’s a beautiful, warm day. By tonight, it’s a choppy, windy, cold evening,” Ryder said.

Police say the lesson in this misadventure is when boating alone, make sure someone knows where you are. Chart a plan, dress in layers and bring flares.

Even though it’s almost winder, this is prime fishing season and a dangerous time to be stranded.

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