Boating Incident: One Dead, Three Rescued

A North Jersey tugboat captain died, and three crew members needed to be rescued from the Atlantic Ocean after their vessel sank off Fire Island, N.Y. two days ago.

The boat, owned by Wittich Brothers Marine, Inc, was working in Moriches on a dredging project and was traveling back to its base in Bayonne when it sank.

Four crew members were on a 1991 62-foot Sea Bear tugboat when it began to sink at approximately 2 p.m. in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1 to 1 ½ miles south of Barrett Beach, Fire Island.

As the boat was sinking, three crew members were able to put on their survival suits, but on-duty captain Donald Maloney was not, police said.

The four men, who were working on a dredging project, left the boat and were in the 37-degree water together until Maloney became separated from the group.

The Coast Guard rescued the three crew members who were able to stay together by the boat at about 3:55 p.m.

A tugboat named the Willie Lander found Maloney floating in the area at about 5:10 p.m., police said. A Coast Guard vessel picked up Maloney and took him to the Fire Island Coast Guard Station, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy will be performed on Maloney to determine the cause of death.

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