Family of five rescued in NY after boat starts sinking

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Family rescued after boat sinks (Image courtesy: Suffolk County Police Department)

A Suffolk County family is safely on dry land after their boat sank off the south shore of Long Island over the weekend.

A photo shows a police marine boat pulling the sinking vessel out of the water.

Officials said the engine stalled and the boat started taking on water a quarter mile off shore in the Great South Bay Sunday afternoon with a family of five on board - including a grandmother and two young girls, 7 and 11.

A passing boat happened to have three volunteer firefighters on board, all members of the Deak family of West Islip, who helped pull the family to safety and called police.

"As we're heading back to the marina I see something floating in the distance," said Bill Deak. "It looked like something laying on a paddle board. As we got closer it was five people laying out holding onto a piece of boat, maybe like a 2 foot 2 foot section of the bow sticking out of the water."

As Bill Deak got ready to pull the victims up, his son Jason jumped into the water with his friend while Justin Deak called 911.

"We have 5 subjects in the water. they all have life jackets on," according to the transcript of the 911 call.

"My first thought was to grab one of the little girls because she couldn't swim very well," said Jason Deak. "So I put her around my neck and she held onto me but when we got to the boat she didn't want to get off, she was clinging onto me."

There are several things that made this situation lucky.

The Contreras family all had life jackets. And they couldn't have been in better hands.

Justin, Jason and their friend Michael LaDuca are all members of the West Islip volunteer fire department, Jason with the department's scuba rescue team.

"When we got the grandmother on the boat she was going into shock," said Bill. "The boys knew right away, they wrapped her in towels, they treated her right away for shock."

"They just thanked us over and over for helping them, pulling them out of the water," Justin said.

It was the same thing Guadalupe Vega - who was on the boat - told us.

She didn't want her face on camera but expressed her gratitude.

"Oh I thank. That was very nice to have the people like that, very good people," she said.
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