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Personal Watercraft Operators in Distress Rescued on the Hudson River

Published: 8/26/2018

For More Information Contact:

Lieutenant Shawn Castano at 845-240-8069

On 08/25/18 at approximately 11:00pm, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office was notified by Dutchess County 911 of a water emergency involving personal watercraft in distress on the Hudson River in the vicinity of Norrie Point Marina.

Two Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office boats, the City Of Poughkeepsie Fire boat and a New York State Police helicopter were dispatched to the scene along with Roosevelt Fire Department and Northern Dutchess Paramedics.

Fire department personnel on land observed pyrotechnic distress signals out on the river and a Sheriff’s boat was able to locate two subjects on a personal watercraft west of Esopus Island. The subjects, a male and a female, were brought to the marina, evaluated by EMS and refused medical attention.

Investigation revealed that four residents from the state of Pennsylvania launched personal watercraft from the City of Newburgh boat ramp, traveled up to Albany and on the return trip became distressed and separated. It was determined that two additional subjects and three personal watercraft were still missing.

Deputies checked local marinas and boat clubs by land while the boats and helicopter continued searching the river. A sheriff’s deputy located a third subject and a personal watercraft at the Newburgh boat ramp. She was uninjured.

Approximately two hours into the search, a Sheriff’s boat located the fourth subject and two personal watercraft in distress and partially submerged in a shallow area of the Hudson River known as the Esopus Meadows, located northwest of the Esopus Lighthouse. The male subject was transported by the Sheriff’s boat to Norrie Point Marina where he was evaluated by EMS and refused medical attention.

Three of the subjects were ticketed for operating a personal watercraft after sunset in violation of the New York State Navigation Law.

Town of Hyde Park Police, New York State Park Police and two citizens in a private boat (a retired police officer and a local tow truck operator) also assisted at the scene.