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Boater Stranded Overnight Rescued By Sheriff's Marine Unit

Members of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit rescued a man stranded on his boat in the river.
Members of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit rescued a man stranded on his boat in the river. Photo Credit: Dutchess County Sheriff's Office

A man who was adrift in the Hudson River after his boat engine died was rescued by members of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit.

The rescue took place around 11 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18, when deputies located a boater who was stranded overnight on the Hudson River, said Dutchess County Sheriff's Office Lt. Shawn Castano.

Deputies were conducting a maritime training exercise on the Hudson River when they noticed a motorboat south of Cruger Island displaying an orange distress flag, Castano said.

The boat operator, a 70-year-old man from Delaware County, told deputies that his boat experienced mechanical problems the day before and that he dropped anchor and slept on the boat overnight while waiting for assistance. 

No calls for help were made to 911 via cellphone or over the VHF marine radio.

The boat operator was uninjured and refused medical attention. Deputies towed the disabled boat to a local marina, he said.

"All boaters are encouraged to stay with their boat or watercraft if they become disabled or encounter an emergency," Castano said. "Attempting to swim to shore is strongly discouraged due to the currents in the Hudson River. Boaters should call for assistance on VHF channel 16 or call 911 from their cellphone and deploy a visual distress signal."

Castano also said citizens on land should be aware of visual distress signals displayed on the waterways. 

"If you see a boat displaying an orange flag with a black square above a black circle or a pyrotechnic device, you should call 911," he added.

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