Birdwatcher Spots Fisherman Hanging onto Life Raft in Montauk

A fisherman who was clinging to a life raft could have been lost at sea if not for a birdwatcher who spotted him and alerted authorities Saturday, according to the Coast Guard.

The fisherman’s 38-foot boat capsized and sank approximately six miles from Montauk Point, the Coast Guard said. The birdwatcher informed East Hampton Town police of a person in the water, and police in turn called the Coast Guard around 4 p.m.

“Fortunately we were in the area conducting training at the time of the report and were able to quickly respond to the location of the person in the water, especially since we were quickly losing valuable daylight to search for the fisherman,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Brent Walsh of Coast Guard Station Montauk said.

The fisherman was brought aboard the Coast Guard’s 47-foot motor life boat and treated for hypothermia. Back at the Coast Guard station, he was transported to Southampton Hospital, after which he was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital.

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