3 rescued when boat runs out of fuel on Great South Bay

Three people were rescued on the Great South Bay Friday evening when their boat ran out of fuel.

Suffolk County Marine Bureau officers received a distress call shortly before 7 p.m. from a passerby who reported a disabled 17-foot outboard craft.

The officers responded to the location, about a half-mile south of Hecksher State Park. They found the operator, 18-year-old Christopher Williams, of Brentwood, and two other male friends in the water.

The men were wearing flotation devices and were attempting to pull their boat to the shore with a rope. They told police they had been in the water for about 45 minutes.

The officers helped the men out of the water and towed their boat the the Hecksher State Park ramp.

Williams was cited for failing to carry visual distress signals and for a discharged fire extinguisher. Warnings were also issued for other missing required safety equipment.

In a press release on the incident, the Marine Bureau listed several tips for boating safety. The bureau says boaters must check that all required safety equipment is on board and operable. Boaters should also leave a float plan with someone on shore with their intended destination and expected return time. And boaters should always carry a cellphone or a marine VHF radio in case emergency assistance is needed.

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