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Old 05-05-2014, 04:38   #1
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Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

"Ciro Stellges, 59, of Selden was operating a 26-foot fiberglass sailboat named “MAC” when he called 911 at around 1 p.m. and told police his boat was “taking on water,” officials said. The sailboat was built in 1977 by C&C Yachts and its registration number is NY7059FR, police said.

It’s possible Mr. Stellges made the distress call while his boat was sinking near Wading River beach, police said. He had left from Mattituck earlier in the day and was heading to Port Washington, officials said."


Update: Missing person report issued for sinking boat owner | Riverhead News Review

Calling 911 on a cell phone? What could go wrong there? Shows the importance of having at least ONE VHF radio working on board. Plus you don't need to be in the middle of the ocean to be out of luck for rescue.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:53   #2
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pirate Re: Missing sailor Long Island Sound

Here's hoping for a happy ending..
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:17   #3
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Re: Missing sailor Long Island Sound

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Here's hoping for a happy ending..
Yes I hope so. Was chatting with a fisherman at the dock yesterday. He said the surface temperature was 52 degrees F. Three feet down it was still in the 40's. Survival time would be limited. If the location report was correct he was only a few miles away from my harbor. Police boat and local marine harbor patrol could have been there in about ten minutes.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:36   #4
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

Truth is, the worse can happen close to shore (and most often does). How I got over my fear of water. You can go drown in 10 ft of water as much as 2000 miles. The law of equality.

Ok i lied. 2000 NM is damn far.

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Old 05-05-2014, 07:26   #5
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

I know that area very well. There's no place to put in between Mattituck and Port Jeff, about 35 miles away, so he must have turned around as soon as he started taking on water and if they were searching between Mattituck and Jamesport then he must have not gotten very far at all before making the distress call. If there was no sign of him that's a very bad thing.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:38   #6
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

I went sailing yesterday in lower ny harbor. It was rough. Gusts were high and prolonged (about 20-30 seconds). I'm not surprised there was trouble. It was not a day to go out unless you are totally certain of your boat. Hope they find the guy.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:06   #7
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

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I went sailing yesterday in lower ny harbor. It was rough. Gusts were high and prolonged (about 20-30 seconds). I'm not surprised there was trouble. It was not a day to go out unless you are totally certain of your boat. Hope they find the guy.
Winter has not left the NY area yet, artic air still barreling down from the NW. winds gusting 30's to 40's, water temps in the low 50's and still running heater at night.

Almost lost a close friend a couple of weeks ago when he went into the Hudson after capsizing his sailboat and he was in the water for thirty minutes, truly a miracle that the rescue folks got to him so quickly. I truly hope this situation turns out as well.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:04   #8
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

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I went sailing yesterday in lower ny harbor. It was rough. Gusts were high and prolonged (about 20-30 seconds). I'm not surprised there was trouble. It was not a day to go out unless you are totally certain of your boat. Hope they find the guy.
Yeah, it was really blowing yesterday right out of the west. He would have been pounding into the head seas if he was motoring. I was working on the boat in the boatyard and was watching a guy in a sunfish in the harbor as the gusts heeled the boat over. Not a lot of people around if he needed help and that water was still really cold if he went in. I did not think to turn on the VHF either because I thought no one would be out there in the sound in those conditions so early in the season so there would be not much chatter. I guess I was wrong about that.
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Old 05-05-2014, 17:34   #9
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

Sad news the missing sailor's body has been found:

Police: Body recovered in Long Island Sound | Riverhead News Review
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:13   #10
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

Very sad.

Seems the strong wind warning was issued at 11am so he was probably already out in the sound.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:59   #11
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

Poor guy. He had a life jacket on and they say survival time might have been up to 9 hours. Can't imagine what those hours would be like.

I'm surprised they couldn't locate him. It seems like a relatively small search area, and they had plenty of assets on the job.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:06   #12
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

No life jacket and they found him? I have very limited experience in this, but I thought bodies sunk, and in cold water stayed down for quite a long time?
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:31   #13
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

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No life jacket and they found him? I have very limited experience in this, but I thought bodies sunk, and in cold water stayed down for quite a long time?
He WAS wearing a life jacket. Have to assume the boat went down. Given the fact that they should have had rough location data from the cell call, an arial search probably would have found him pretty quickly. I think with that sort of chop, finding him quickly from a boat before he expired would have been unlikely.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:38   #14
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

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Poor guy. He had a life jacket on and they say survival time might have been up to 9 hours. Can't imagine what those hours would be like.

I'm surprised they couldn't locate him. It seems like a relatively small search area, and they had plenty of assets on the job.
Apparently he used his cell phone to call 911. One can only imagine the layers of communication that message went through before it ended up with some marine responders. First report was he was off of Wading River beach which was only a few miles east of my harbor. His body was found east of Mattituck which is about 25 miles away and the port he left from.

No explanation why there was no VHF call which might have saved his life as it is closely monitored by the U.S. Coast Guard which has bases on both sides of the Long Island Sound and probably could have triangulated his position a little more accurately.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:06   #15
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Re: Missing Sailor Long Island Sound

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Very sad.

Seems the strong wind warning was issued at 11am so he was probably already out in the sound.
With the northwest winds blowing 30-35 knots he was probably attempting to head north over to Connecticut where he could sail in the lee of the coast. Looks like he did not get far (3 miles) from the Mattituck entrance before things went bad. I'm not sure if even he paid any attention to the weather forecast though. He made the 911 call at 1 PM and not on VHF so maybe he had no way of monitoring the weather service too. Bad mistake. Also Mattituck is also a pretty sheltered creek. Until you get down by the entrance you don't really feel the true strength of the wind.
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