Tag Archive | "Shinnecock Bay"

12-Year-Old Girl Rescued in West Shinnecock Bay

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Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.

An unconscious 12-year-old girl with neck and back injuries was rescued from a pleasure craft in West Shinnecock Bay on Saturday, June 26.

The girl had reportedly received her injuries after the 38-foot boat ran aground in West Shinnecock Bay. A watchstander from the Coast Guard Station Shinnecock received the notification and a rescue boat crew from the station and Suffolk County emergency medical services and Southampton Town Bay Constables responded to the call.

“We arrived on scene with a Bay Constable EMT and paramedic who went aboard the vessel and assessed the girl’s condition,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Alfred Diaz in a statement released on Saturday evening.

Petty Officer Diaz was the boat driver and officer of the day on Saturday. “She gained consciousness and was able to respond to EMS, helping them determine that she had a high probability of a neck and back injury,” he said.

For this reason, the girl was placed on a backboard and transported to the Coast Guard response boat.

“We made the determination to use our boat to transport the girl back to the station since it was a smoother platform, and it was easier for the crews to maneuver her onto because she was secured onto a backboard,” said Diaz.

From the station, the girl and her mother were airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital.

“EMS went right to work assisting the girl and making sure our crew was prepared to receive the injured girl and her mother,” Mr. Diaz said.

According to a press release, the vessel was refloated and returned to its port in Penny Pond.

Update: Three Charged in Water Rescue Involving 40

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Three people were charged after an incident on Saturday night that led to Southampton Town Police, the United States Coast Guard and other agencies aiding in a water rescue of 40 people stranded or swimming in Shinnecock Bay and Inlet after a sandbar barbeque gone wrong led to dozens being stranded.

Southampton Town Police received reports around 8:20 p.m. of two distressed males swimming in the Shinnecock Inlet. Officers from the department’s community response unit, patrol and detective’s division arrived on the scene and found one of the men, Thomas Besch, 23, of Hampton Bays, being rescued from the bay by area residents after he was unable to get out of the water on his own. The United States Coast Guard found a second man, 23-years-old, of Medford, who was found being sucked into the Atlantic Ocean from the Shinnecock Inlet. He was rescued and brought to Oakland’s Marina in Hampton Bays.

According to police, both men were at a barbeque being held on a sandbar in the in bay, which is located north of the Shinnecock Inlet. Police determined about 37 additional people were stranded on a sandbar. Suffolk County Police Aviation, Southampton Town Bay Constables, Quogue Village Police Marine Unit, Suffolk County Parks Police, the Hampton Bays, Southampton and North Sea Fire Departments and the Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance responded to the scene immediately.

As departments began to mobilize on the scene for the mass rescue effort, a third male subject was found swimming in the channel. The Coast Guard quickly responded from the Oakland’s Marine Basin and rescued the 20-year-old, a resident of Hampton Bays.

The rest of the people stranded on the sandbar were transported to Oakland’s Marine Basin. Just one person was transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons, said police.

All three men found in the inlet will be charged for violating town code for swimming in a prohibited area as police said they entered the water at their own risk before rescue efforts began.

Besch, who police said appeared under the influence of alcohol, was also charged with obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, a misdemeanor, as police said he fled the scene despite being told he would be charged with a town code violation. Officers found him at the Ponquogue Bridge and he was transported to police headquarters and held for arraignment.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing. Anyone with information into this incident is encouraged to call the Southampton Town Police Department at 631-728-3400, or contact the Southampton Town Police Department’s Detective Division, 631-702-2230. All calls will be kept confidential.

Red Tide Rears Its Head Again, Early

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Red tide, an algae bloom toxic to shellfish and fin fish, is already rampant in the waters off the South Fork of Long Island, having reappeared for the sixth year in a row and over a month earlier than years past, according to Stony Brook Southampton professor Dr. Chris Gobler and Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister.

Already visible in the Shinnecock and Peconic bays, including Noyac Bay off Sag Harbor, according to Dr. Gobler the red tide first appeared around July 20, whereas previously the algae has bloomed in late August and early September.

“The organism has been present for some time, but we do not know why it has become so prominent in recent years,” said Dr. Gobler. “We believe the warmer-than-usual summer has been responsible for its early arrival.”

A harmful algal bloom, red tide is visible, usually presenting itself in rust-colored bands on surface water. While harmless to humans, Dr. Gobler noted the species is highly toxic to fish, shellfish, larvae, zooplankton and other algae.

“These properties prevent it from being consumed by predators and prevent it from needing to compete with other algae for resources such as nutrients,” explained Dr. Gobler. “Higher nitrogen levels lead to more intense blooms. We also know the blooms seem to be isolated to the Peconics and Northeastern Shinnecock Bay.”

The tide will remain until the water cools, reducing the number of available nutrients.

According to Dr. Gobler, quantifying the impacts of red tide is difficult, although he noted the smallest organisms, larvae, are the most vulnerable albeit the most difficult to track.

“Large fish in pound nets and at Stony Brook’s marine station have died during blooms,” said Dr. Gobler. “Fishermen have reported a decline in landings during and following the blooms. The Southampton Town Trustees reported a large scallop die-off in Noyac Bay following last year’s bloom. None of these things are good news for the ecosystem.”

McAllister agreed that areas where aquaculture is occurring are the most vulnerable, particularly if their growth is in cages, but that pound nets are equally vulnerable as when fish trapped in the nest can be exposed to the toxic algae for prolonged periods of time.

“I think the wild stock is also vulnerable if there is a persistent bloom,” he added.

Dr. Gobler, whose lab at Stony Brook Southampton is focused on water quality research and plankton ecology, said the occurrence of red tide is a sign of poor water quality, however while his lab has learned much about the species they are still studying why the blooms start and why they reoccur on such a consistent basis, as opposed to brown tide, which is more sporadic.

McAllister said he has seen literature referencing the occurrence of red tides dating back centuries, but that he believes an increase in nutrients like nitrogen in the water likely is due to human influence, specifically the result of aging wastewater treatment systems leeching into the groundwater and concurrently into streams and bays, as well as the use of some fertilizers in landscaping and lawn maintenance.

“It’s been around for a long time, but with that being said, we are seeing these harmful algae blooms more frequently and certainly along developed coastal communities,” said McAllister. “I don’t have the smoking gun, but I do believe there is a correlation between development and the strain on coastal marine life.”