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Sep 5, 2013 10:50 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Police Say Three Men Pulled Canoe Crew From Tiana Bay

Sep 6, 2013 9:21 AM

UPDATE 2 p.m.:

Southampton Town Police have confirmed that the three men rescued from Tiana Bay after their canoe tipped over this morning were assisted by three local men who helped them to shallower water.

Police identified the rescuers as Mark O'Mara, Tom Miqueli and Walter Schutz, all of whom live in the Hampton Arms apartment complex on West Tiana Road. When they saw the canoe passengers struggling to stay afloat about 100 feet from shore, the men piled in a boat and went out to assist the three men who had fallen in the bay.

The men—identified by police as a 32-year-old Hampton Bays man and two men, ages 26 and 39, from Queens—fell out of the canoe after one of the three stood up to jump into the bay. U.S. Coast Guard officials arrived at the scene when the three men were in between 4 and 6 feet of water, according to Boatswain's Mate Second-Class Omar Rose of Station Shinnecock.

The three men plucked from the water suffered none-life-threatening injuries and all were transported by ambulance to the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, according to police.

Police could not confirm if the men had been drinking prior to the accident.


The U.S. Coast Guard pulled three men from Tiana Bay on Thursday morning after their canoe tipped and dumped them in the water.

The men, ages 26, 32 and 40, were “intoxicated” and fell in at around 8:30 a.m., according to officials at Coast Guard Shinnecock in Hampton Bays, after one of the men jumped off the canoe, causing it to flip near the shore by West Tiana Road.

The men were not wearing life jackets and one of them did not know how to swim, authorities said. The water was between 4 and 6 feet deep.

The Coast Guard dispatched a rescue team that was able to pluck the men from the water and return them to shore.

The men were examined by emergency medical personnel once they were brought back to land and released.

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I hate when people say "bill them for this rescue" because everyone pays taxes, but I'm sorry they should be billed for this.

If you need to be rescued due to self-inflicted intoxication you should be responsible for paying the cost of that. And 8:30 in the morning? POST labor-day? Someone should tell them summer is over...
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 5, 13 11:25 AM
4 members liked this comment
Agreed!!!! And one couldn't swim... Really stupid!! Bill them!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 5, 13 12:49 PM
2 members liked this comment

Another Darwin Award missed opportunity . . .

BTW Nature, how is it you know that the intoxication was "self-inflicted?"

PS -- This might be a good time to bring back the public stocks and pillories?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 5, 13 1:16 PM
Maybe they should be arrested fro drunk and disorderly conduct at the least...
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Sep 5, 13 1:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
PBR - Because I'm *inferring* that they were not intoxicated against their will which is not a very common thing, particularly with respect to "of-age" men. Why does it matter?
Sep 5, 13 3:32 PM appended by Nature
Of course now it states that "police cannot confirm they were intoxicated". Thanks press now I look like a dolt!
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 5, 13 3:32 PM
It just seemed to be a curious choice of words, which prompted the question about the alternative of possible "inflicted" intoxication, as in spiked punch and so forth. No big deal.

Also curious is that the "men were in between 4 and 6 feet of water."

Stuck at 5 feet they mean? No wonder they needed help!

And the answer to your next question is "no." :)
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 5, 13 4:03 PM
I was trying to make a general statement - but it came out to look specific to the case. My ultimate goal in that statement is in cases where people got themselves drunk then did something in need of rescue, they should have to pay. There are certainly instances where people (underage + female, generally) become intoxicated unwillingly and may end up in a position where they require rescue.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 5, 13 4:08 PM
A general statement with which I concur. Remember that weekend party (last year?) on the sandbar/island near the Inlet which required a massive rescue effort when the tide came up? That was also a candidate for your proposal IMO.

Your parenthetical comment might get you in trouble with the "politically correct' police, though . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 5, 13 4:27 PM
The problem with making people pay for emergency services if they have done something "stupid" is that the aversion to being charged may cause them to delay calling for help until someone has died. (In case your response is, "Serves them right!", note that the dead person might not be the same one that was stupid.)
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 5, 13 6:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
The standard of "stupid" was not being discussed, but your point is well taken. Stricter standards might make sense though (intentional, gross negligence, reckless, etc.)

When the USCG stopped responding to maritime situations not involving the risk to life, or the sinking of a vessel (thereby creating the SeaTow etc. industry), in effect boaters began paying for being rescued for most situations.

On the roads, if someone intentionally gets bombed on alcohol and then has a wreck, ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 5, 13 7:15 PM
define "stupid" HHS and who makes that determination?
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 5, 13 7:50 PM
Can't wait to see the reply . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 5, 13 8:33 PM
Anyone know why they were taken to the hospital?
By Moneybogue (37), Westhampton Beach on Sep 6, 13 4:59 PM