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.