Dragger sinks after collision with sport fishing yacht

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The sport-fishing yacht Chaos has returned to port after colliding with a commercial fishing vessel not far from Montauk Inlet on Saturday.

A 40-foot commercial fishing boat sank on Saturday morning after a yacht of about the same size crashed in heavy fog not far from the mouth of Montauk Inlet, about a quarter of a mile from land .

According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, Officer Collin Reichelt, the yacht, ironically named the Chaos, was being driven negligently when it collided with the dredger. The accident report arrived around 6:30 a.m. Visibility was just under 100 feet, the Coast Guard reported.

Petrel, the fishing boat, had two on board, the captain and another man. The yacht had three passengers, including the operator. None of their names were immediately released.

The Keith Grimes Company hoisted the Petrel from where it sank on Wednesday. Photos of Doug Kuntz

Petrel’s captain acted quickly and was able to jump off the boat with his passenger in time to avoid being dragged along. On Monday, his daughter, Kelly Mallinson, described the crash on Facebook.

“My father, a skilled captain and almost 50-year-old commercial fisherman, was in an accident this weekend with an extremely reckless operator of a sport fishing yacht,” she wrote. “In shock, my dad got off the fast sinking boat to avoid being dragged along, and they both swam safely away from the boat.”

The Petrel sank 70 feet to the bottom a few minutes after the collision. His captain sustained a shoulder injury and was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, which released him after treatment. No other injuries were reported.

East Hampton Town Police have charged the Chaos Operator with reckless operation of a ship, a misdemeanor, although detectives said Tuesday they were continuing to investigate the cause of the crash. The owner of the dredger is said to be working with a salvage company to recover the boat.

This story has been updated since it was first posted.


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