Babylon - (WALK) A pair of clammers are recovering after swimming from their sinking boat and spending a night on a remote island in the Great South Bay, according to Suffolk police.
Paul Salentino, 36, of Holbrook and John Rose, 51, of Ronkonkoma set off in a 14-foot boat from East Islip at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. When the pair did not return home, Salentino's mother went to the East Islip Marina, where she found their vehicle and called police at about 3:00 a.m. Monday.
Teams of officers from the Suffolk Police Marine Bureau and U.S. Coast Guard began a search of the Great South Bay, but the search was complicated by heavy fog and low visibility. By dawn, the fog cleared and Salentino and Rose were located on an island off the coast of Babylon at approximately 7:30 a.m.
The men told police they were clamming in Oak Island Channel, near Babylon, when choppy waters flooded their boat and caused it to flip and sink at about 7:15 p.m. Sunday. They swam to the island where they spent the next 12 hours. They were reportedly dressed in shorts and tank tops, but Salentino told police he used a wet, but still-funtioning cigarette lighter to start a fire and stay warm.