By Anika Lanser
While many residents have heard already about the tragedies that crossed the bay with the June 30 storm, few have heard the tales of the heroic Atlantique Marina employees who kept boaters and the marina safe throughout the storm. Dockmaster Frank Franzone and Dock Attendants Connor Dennehy and Tyler Vogt were honored by the Town of Islip on July 16, for their courageous actions that kept the island safe. Along with the Atlantique Marina crew, Islip Harbormasters Dan Offermann and Bob Beck were honored for saving a family incapacitated by the storm.
“The 15-minute storm really wreaked havoc in its path,” Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter noted. Offermann and Beck responded to multiple incidents during the storm concerning stranded boaters. The earlier moments of the storm saw
Offermann and Beck first rescuing a family of five stranded when their catamaran capsized. “They were searching for a disabled, 40-foot vessel that was reported on the radio as having run aground. They saw an object on the surface of the water. When they got closer they discovered there were five people in the water,” Carpenter described. The family, including two adults and three children, had been treading water for 30 minutes before Beck and Offermann arrived to assist.
Later in the storm Offermann and Beck also rescued a sailor whose boom and mast had collapsed in the harsh winds. Carpenter described the rescue. “A few minutes later they saw a sailboat in distress, left of the Atlantique marina. They saw this mast and the boom had collapsed into the water, leaving a male occupant stranded on the vessel. They eventually towed the sailboat to the dock in Atlantique,” Carpenter relayed.
Once Offerman and Beck had the sailboat’s occupant on board, they quickly learned that he was none other than Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini. “He called me and said that he wanted to commend their actions and I told him that we were going to recognize them at our Town Board meeting. Tim tried to come but he couldn’t get there that day. He was most appreciative of their efforts,” Carpenter said.
While Offermann and Beck were aiding boaters stranded in the Great South Bay, attendants at the Atlantique Marina were securing boats and protecting boaters. Dennehy, Vogt and Franzone were working furiously to keep beachgoers safe and to address any concerns that came up.
“Connor, one of the dock attendants, saw a boater on the side of the marina who was having trouble securing his boat. He jumped out of his vehicle, and with more ropes, together they secured the vessel,” Carpenter noted.
On the other side of the marina, Vogt was leading beachgoers to seek shelter in the marina’s shed and was securing their belongings. As the storm continued, the crew heard that an electrical pole had snapped. Carpenter described, “Tyler ran to the South bathrooms to keep people away from the pole until it was over.”
Ultimately the conditions of the June 30 storm subsided. Thanks to the selfless efforts of these young men, disaster and tragedy in Atlantique was avoided that day.
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