Ferry captain and crew rescue 2 boaters stranded in bay

Posted: Updated:
BAY SHORE -

A Fire Island Ferry captain and his crew helped rescue two boaters from the Great South Bay Saturday night.

Capt. Victor Klipp says it started out to be a regular Saturday evening shift until the ferry was about a half-mile out, and he spotted a little white light on the bay. As rain crashed down on the dark and choppy waters, Klipp says it was that light in the distance that caught his attention.

"At first I thought it was a boat, but it wasn't on my radar," Klipp recalls. "We were kind of disregarding it for a second and then we heard screams -- 'Help, help, help!'"

Two boaters from Bay Shore had ended up stranded in the water.  One of them was holding a cellphone up over his head as he did his best to stay afloat -- that was the light spotted from the ferry.

The boaters had been ejected from their vessel, which had continued on without them. Klipp says one of the men was clinging to the other as they were stranded in the water.

Klipp and the crew pulled the men to safety. Suffolk police say the boaters refused medical treatment.

"They were thanking me up and down, saying, 'I thought I was gonna die out there,' but I think someone would have come around soon if it wasn't me," Klipp says.

The captain credits the cellphone light for the rescue. "That phone saved that guy's life, it was pretty crazy. It wasn't working when we got back to Bay Shore, when he tried to call his wife," Klipp says.

Klipp was back at work Sunday, and admitted that he hoped the shift would be less eventful than his last one.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Vandalism shatters memorial for LI Medal of Honor recipient

    Vandalism shatters memorial for LI Medal of Honor recipient

    Thursday, July 19 2018 10:05 PM EDT2018-07-20 02:05:21 GMT
    An act of vandalism has destroyed a plaque in a Lake Ronkonkoma park honoring Lt. Michael Murphy -- a Medal of Honor recipient from Patchogue who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2005.An act of vandalism has destroyed a plaque in a Lake Ronkonkoma park honoring Lt. Michael Murphy -- a Medal of Honor recipient from Patchogue who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2005.

    An act of vandalism has destroyed a plaque in a Lake Ronkonkoma park honoring Lt. Michael Murphy -- a Medal of Honor recipient from Patchogue who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2005. 

    An act of vandalism has destroyed a plaque in a Lake Ronkonkoma park honoring Lt. Michael Murphy -- a Medal of Honor recipient from Patchogue who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2005. 

  • Beachgoers wary after multiple shark sightings

    Beachgoers wary after multiple shark sightings

    Thursday, July 19 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-07-20 02:13:54 GMT
    Jones Beach was temporarily shut down after a shark sighting, and two sharks were caught off Fire Island Thursday - just one day after two young people were apparently bitten.Jones Beach was temporarily shut down after a shark sighting, and two sharks were caught off Fire Island Thursday - just one day after two young people were apparently bitten.

    Jones Beach was temporarily shut down after a shark sighting, and two sharks were caught off Fire Island Thursday - just one day after two young people were apparently bitten.

    Jones Beach was temporarily shut down after a shark sighting, and two sharks were caught off Fire Island Thursday - just one day after two young people were apparently bitten.

  • News12/Newsday report: Nassau's open space purchases benefited insiders

    News12/Newsday report: Nassau's open space purchases benefited insiders

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:33 PM EDT2018-07-19 17:33:30 GMT

    In a Newsday/News 12 investigative report, it is revealed that many of the people who profited, had ties to county leaders or an influential environment lobbying group.

    In a Newsday/News 12 investigative report, it is revealed that many of the people who profited, had ties to county leaders or an influential environment lobbying group.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • What's Cooking Photos

    What's Cooking Photos

    Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.
    Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.

    Each week, News 12's Lily Stolzberg heads into the kitchen with a different chef to cook up some delicious meals.

    Each week, News 12's Lily Stolzberg heads into the kitchen with a different chef to cook up some delicious meals.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

  • Trump and Putin hold summit in Helsinki

    Trump and Putin hold summit in Helsinki

    (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

    Sights and scenes at President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16, 2018. Images via Getty.

    Sights and scenes at President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16, 2018. Images via Getty.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."