3 adults, 2 children rescued after boat partially sinks on South Sandy Creek


DEC mud boat used in South Sandy Creek rescue (NYSDEC)

ELLISBURG, N.Y. (WWTI) — Following heavy rains in the region over the weekend, a family was rescued off of South Sandy Creek.

On July 18, Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officers received a report of a boat in distress on South Sandy Creek in the town of Ellisburg. According to Police, a 12-foot aluminum boat with three adults and two children on board became pinned to a partially submerged tree in the creek.

As the boat was taking on water, it was in danger of tipping over. This incident was following heavy rains the previous evening that had resulted in flood conditions.

DEC Officer Jackson responded to the report at the DEC boat launch on South Sandy Creek, as well as New York State Police, the Belleville Fire Department, Adams Fire Department and the South Jefferson Rescue Squad.

The DEC Officer then launched a specialty watercraft known as a “mud boat,” which is equipped with a surface drive outboard. The Officer and a New York State Trooper navigated downstream and located the distressed family.

Officer Jackson and the State Trooper than transferred the family into the mud boat. Once secure, the Officers verified no injuries, and brought the family back upstream to the boat launch. The Belleville Fire Department and State Police rescued the family’s boat and determined that the outboard motor had lost its propeller in the incident.

After the confirmation of no injuries, and following the incident, the DEC reminded all of the dangers of swift-moving floodwaters.

The incident serves as a reminder of the dangers of swift-moving floodwaters and debris. Boaters are reminded to always have the proper safety equipment and gear on board their vessel and ensure the boat can handle the water conditions prior to leaving the safety of shore. 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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