COPIAGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A day trip on the water for a Long Island father and son turned into a fight for their lives after their boat capsized.
The Coast Guard came to their rescue. On Sunday night, CBS2’s Reena Roy spoke with the family.
Nolan Bair hugged his pup, “Pepper,” a little tighter. Just a few feet away in their front yard was a reminder of a harrowing experience.
“I thought I was going to die or like that it was the end,” the 9-year-old said.
All that’s left of the Bair family boat was bits and pieces after a father-son fishing trip Saturday morning turned into a desperate rescue.
“I knew something bad was going to happen and then this wave came out of nowhere,” Nolan said.
Nolan’s dad, Brian, was too shaken up to speak with CBS2 after rough waves near the Fire Island inlet flipped them upside down and into the water.
“My dog went flying off the boat and all I felt was water,” Nolan said.
The three of them were frantically gripping the boat for 45 minutes, as waves kept crashing. Nolan had a life jacket on; his dad did not.
“We were holding on to the motor and when a wave comes … it would push us off the boat,” Nolan said.
That is until other boaters passing by alerted the Coast Guard. Father, son and dog were eventually pulling to safety and then taken to a nearby hospital.
“Someone was watching out for them that day. I mean, they walked away with scrapes, cuts, bruises and, really, that’s it. I almost lost all three of them in one day,” mother and wife Jennifer Bair said.
Jennifer thanked the Coast Guard for bringing her boys home.
“They’re heroes. They saved my son and husband’s life,” she said.
The Bairs said they will be taking some time to recover emotionally, but it wont be long before they’re back on the water, and back to their tradition of fishing together as family.