CENTERPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A 12-year-old boy was killed when he was hit by a propeller during a boating lesson on Long Island.

“I feel terrible for the boy, his parents and grandparents — what a tragedy — who would think something like this could happen from a sailing lesson?” Sheila Wexler said.

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There was heartache and sorrow on Tuesday night, at a club where for 70 years, children learned to swim and sail.

A Northport boy was dead after coming into contact with a small 25 horsepower outboard engine.

As CBS2’s Joe Biermann reported from Chopper 2, the accident happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday near the Centerport Yacht Club in Centerport.

Three boys were out taking a sailing lesson, when their boat was overturned — plunging the boys into the water on the North Shore of Long Island.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Suffolk County Police said the boys’ boat was intentionally capsized as part of the lesson.

“Two of the students remained with the boat and a third, a 12-year-old boy, was in the water during the exercise,” Assistant Commissioner Justin Meyers said.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, it was a ‘man overboard drill.’

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An instructor raced out to the scene in a Zodiac boat with an outboard motor, and pulled the 12-year-old from the water.

“The boy then fell out of the Zodiac, and was struck by the boat’s propeller. The instructor pulled the boy back into the boat, and performed CPR until EMTs arrived,” Meyers said.

The child suffered ‘massive injuries to the chest’ was taken to Huntington Hospital with his father by his side, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported. He had been listed in critical condition, but later died.

As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the 18-year-old sailing instructor was also taken to the hospital where he was treated for shock.

“Oh my goodness. This will be with him the rest of his life, I’m sure,” Wexler said.

Police said they have spoken with the instructor, and that he is traumatized.

“He’s in shock, he’s very upset, his family is with him,” Sgt. James Scimone, Suffolk County Police said.

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Police have called this a ‘tragic accident’ and were continuing to investigate on Tuesday night.