OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (AP) — Twenty five people were rescued from a capsized yacht near Oyster Bay on Long Island late Wednesday, and a search is continuing for others who could be missing.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the people were pulled from the water around 11 p.m., about an hour after the boat capsized in the Long Island Sound. Owners of private boats dragged people into their vessels until crews from law enforcement agencies and fire departments arrived.
A spokesman for the Nassau County police said early Thursday that many different agencies were involved in the rescue and subsequent search and that there were conflicting reports about who was on the motor yacht and who could be missing.
Newsday reported that up to 27 people were aboard the 34-foot Silverton to watch the fireworks. It said the missing people could include children.
A boater told Newsday he saw the yacht turn right and then tip over after it was hit by a wake. "It was like in slow motion," said Sammy Balasso of Oyster Bay. "All of a sudden, a lot of bodies were in the water."
His nephew, 15-year-old Frankie Barbone of Bayview, said the waves almost came up over the yacht.
Balasso said he put the spotlight of his 38-foot speedboard on the Silverton and then threw all the life jackets he had with him into the water. He said he rescued 20 people who were later taken to the shore in police boats.
Nassau County Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lack told Newsday that most of the people rescued were taken to hospitals for observation but that one person was in critical condition.