Police rescue 6 people from disabled boat in Suffolk County

WEST SAYVILLE (WABC) -- Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau officers rescued six people who were stranded in the Great South Bay in gale force winds early Sunday morning.

Police say Frank Pezzuto, 50, of Oakdale, left Cherry Gove on his 1970 25-foot Chris-Craft boat around midnight last night and headed to Sayville with five employees from his pizza parlor on board.

Pezzuto's boat lost power about one mile from the entrance to Brown's River and began to drift toward shore. Pezzuto set an anchor, but the anchor did not hold due to high winds and waves.

Pezzuto used his cell phone to call for help at about 1:15 a.m. and Police Officers John Mullins, Anthony Ruggiero and Brian Flatley responded to the call aboard their 40-foot patrol vessel, Marine X-Ray.

The officers located the disabled boat after a brief search and were eventually able to attach a tow line. The boat was towed, with its passengers on board, to the nearest harbor at Vanderbilt's Wharf Marina on the Connetquot River in Oakdale.

At least one passenger was suffering from seasickness, but all refused medical attention.

A Gale Warning was in effect for the Great South Bay overnight, with winds gusting to over 40 miles per hour and 3 to 4-foot breaking waves.

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