Two boaters hurt in collision with water taxi near Fire Island, N.Y.

The U.S. Coast Guard and local police are investigating a collision between a water taxi and motorboat that seriously injured two men in the Great South Bay off New York's Fire Island.

Police said the 35-foot water taxi Courier operated by Fire Island Water Taxi and a 20-foot Grady-White collided July 10 about 700 yards northwest of Atlantique. The Coast Guard received a mayday call about 0230 and a boat was dispatched from the Fire Island Station.

The captain of the motorboat and a passenger suffered neck and back injuries and were airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center, police said. Another passenger on the Grady-White was taken by ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with a foot injury. Two other passengers on the recreational vessel and two passengers and two crewmembers on the water taxi were not seriously injured, police said.

The accident occurred while the motorboat carrying five friends who had spent the evening on Fire Island was headed west toward Captree State Park and the water taxi was going north toward Bay Shore.

Coast Guard Lt. Christian Barger, supervisor of the Marine Safety Detachment Coram, said there was serious damage to the motorboat. There was also damage to the bow of the water taxi.

"The Coast Guard is investigating the incident since a commercial vessel was involved as well as the Suffolk County Police Department since a recreational vessel was involved," Barger said.

The crewmembers on the water taxi were tested for drugs and alcohol and the results were negative.

By Professional Mariner Staff