The captain of a sinking tugboat died after jumping into icy waters off Fire Islandwithout putting on his immersion suit, while three crew members managed to hang onto life rings, the survivors told the Coast Guard.
One of the three crew members who survived the wreck managed to call the Coast Guard for assistance at about 2 p.m. Saturday as the Sea Bear was sinking, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Morgan Gallapis.
“They had only seconds to let us know before they sank,” Gallapis said.
Three crew members — Lars Vetland, 43, of Staten Island; Jason Reimer, 38, of Leonardo, NJ; and Rainer Bendixen, 22, of Bay Head, NJ — were rescued by the Coast Guard, Gallapis said.
The body of the ship’s captain, Donald Maloney, was found shortly after 5 p.m., according to police. The survivors said Maloney panicked and was not able to put on his immersion suit as the boat was sinking.