ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Good Samaritans and police officers rescued a family of five after their boat sank in the Great South Bay off Long Island over the weekend.
Juan Contreras, 33, of Bellport and four family members were in his 18-foot Sting Ray about a quarter mile south of Gardiner County Park in Bay Shore when the engine stalled and the boat began sinking. It happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.READ MORE: Attorney Says Current Whereabouts Of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's Fiancé, Are Unknown
William Deak, 46, of West Islip was on his boat when he spotted the family clinging to the partially submerged hull.
Deak called 911 while his two sons — 21-year-old Jason and 18-year-old Justin — and their friend Michael Laduca, 24, jumped into the bay to help the victims, police said. Deak’s sons and Laduca are volunteers with the West Islip Fire Department, where Jason is a member of the SCUBA team.
They pulled the family, including two children, out of the water and onto their boat. Police and firefighters in boats also responded to the scene and brought the family back to shore.
“We realized it wasn’t one person sitting on a board. It was five people holding onto each other and holding onto a little piece of boat that was sticking out of the water,” Deak said.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, the men didn’t hesitate to jump into the rough bay waters.
“There was a little girl, maybe 6, 7-years-old. She couldn’t swim, so I put her on my shoulders, but when I put her in the boat she didn’t want to get off my shoulders, so I kept her on my shoulders,” Deak said.
The firefighters then scooped up two women who had become entangles in a tow rope. Ultimately the entire family was brought safe and sound to shore.
They had nothing but thanks for their rescuers.READ MORE: Teen Stabbed To Death After Dutchess County High School Football Game, Former Student Charged
“We’re happy, we’re grateful about everything, and being saved,” Kimberly Chavez said.
Cristine Contreras, 11, said everyone had their life jackets on, but she was worried that no one could see them bobbing in the water.
“Whenever we waved to some other people they didn’t really help us, except for them,” she said.
The family refused medical treatment. Their boat was pulled from the bay and is now drying in their backyard.
The Suffolk Marine Patrol said the engine stalled causing the boat to take on water.
The Deaks have been humble about their heroics.
“I don’t feel like a hero. Anybody could do that,” Deak said.
The Marine Patrol also credited the family with saving their own lives by wearing life jackets.MORE NEWS: Caught On Video: Carmine's Hostess Attacked After Asking Tourists For Proof Of Vaccination
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