Rescuers were searching for two men who were swept out to the Long Island Sound while fishing near a boat launch in Wading River Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
An 18-year-old man, a 20-year-old man and a third man were fishing near the shore off Creek Road when an outgoing current swept them away. The third man was able to hold onto a rock, but the water was too much for the other two. Witnesses on the beach then called 911.
“They got caught in a current and they are missing right now,” said Wading River Fire Department Chief Kevin McQueeney.
Police said the missing men, who could not swim, are from Brentwood. A fourth man in the group did not enter the water.
A witness told police the two men could be seen grasping each other before disappearing in the water.
The Riverhead Police dive team, Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau, Ridge and Riverhead fire departments, a boat with the Rocky Point Fire Department and Suffolk Police and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were all searching for the men in what they called a search and recovery effort as of 6 p.m.
The divers exited the water shortly after 7:30 p.m., but the Coast Guard said it would continue the search with a cutter it was dispatching to the scene around 11 p.m.
PHOTO CREDIT: Riverhead Town police officers on the scene on Saturday afternoon. (Credit Joe Werkmeister)