Sunday, May 24, 2009

7 Rescued From Sinking Boat

A Rochester-area couple in the right place at the right time Saturday morning rescued seven people moments after their fishing boat sank about a mile off the Lake Ontario shoreline at Newfane. The 31-foot boat, which left the Newfane marina about 6 a. m., began taking on water about an hour later. There were five men and two women aboard the 1995 Baha cruiser, which was in water about 90 feet deep. Harry “Skip” Mogray and his wife, Linda, of Harry O Charters, were taking two couples fishing when they spotted the sinking boat about a mile off shore. “As we got a little closer, I said, ‘That boat is really low in the water. I don’t think they know they’re sinking,’ ” Linda Mogray said Saturday evening when The Buffalo News contacted her at her Webster home. As they got next to the cruiser, her husband offered help and told the passengers to get life jackets on. He threw a rope over to get them onto the Mogray’s charter boat.But the back end of the boat quickly filled up. “It just started to fill up so fast, there was no time,” Linda Mogray said. “They just swam out the back end, because it was filling up with water. Linda Mogray radioed for help. There was one man still inside the cabin, and everyone involved started yelling, “Get out! ” she said. The water was up to his shoulders, when he finally managed to slide open a window next to the steering wheel and swam out, she added. “The back end went down and the bow came up and the whole thing was like slow motion,” Linda Mogray said. Crews from the Olcott Fire Company and Niagara County Sheriff’s Office responded. Those who were rescued were treated for hypothermia once they returned to the harbor. No one was seriously injured, authorities said. The boat is owned and operated by Anthony LaRock of Newfane. He was not able to be reached Saturday night. The loss of the boat and its contents is valued at about $50,000.

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