Two friends are lucky to be alive after a fun day of fishing in the Long Island Sound went terribly wrong. On Tuesday, August 18th, at approximately 7PM, Smithtown Public Safety Bay Constables David Rosenberg, Blake Gifford, and Carmine Aro were on patrol, exiting the mouth of the Nissequogue River, when B.C. Rosenberg noticed what appeared to be two individuals floating at least a mile off the shore of Sunken Meadow State Park. As the airboat got closer, the Bay Constables could see two gentlemen waving and yelling for help next to an overturned canoe.
Jose Flores and Franklin Bonilla of Brentwood were pulled aboard the airboat by Bay Constables Gifford and Aro, where they were quickly evaluated for injuries. The Bay Constables then removed the submerged canoe from the Long Island Sound.
Flores informed his rescuers that he and his friend were fishing, using an old car part for an anchor. About an hour into fishing, they realized that the makeshift anchor had broken from the canoe, and they had drifted a great distance from the shore. The two friends flipped the vessel in the process of attempting to paddle back to Sunken Meadow. Neither gentlemen knew how to swim. Luckily, they were both wearing personal floatation devices.
The Smithtown Bay Constables safely returned Flores, Bonilla and their canoe to Sunken Meadow State Park. There were no reported injuries.