NEW HAVEN, Conn.—A fisherman was rescued by a good Moon Cutter owner Chuck Moon after spending more than two hours in frigid waters and drifting two miles to Brown’s Reef, Conn., after his vessel capsized Tuesday.
Mike O’Keefe, from East Haven, Conn., was fishing while anchored in the vicinity of Brandford Reef in his 17-foot pleasure craft when heavy seas filled and overturned his vessel and tossed him into 61-degree water. O’Keefe was able to put on his life jacket before drifting from his overturned vessel.
Captain Chuck Moon, owner and operator of the charter boat FULL MOON, and a volunteer who teaches boating safety classes for the Conn. Dept. of Environmental Protection, spotted O’Keefe drifting near Brown’s Reef approximately two miles from where he entered the water. Moon tossed a line with a fender attached and pulled O’Keefe alongside the FULL MOON and on board the vessel. Capt. Moon provided him with dry clothing and took him into Brandford where he was met by local EMS.
“This incident is an excellent example of how life jackets save lives,” said Cmdr. Robert McKenna, Chief of Response at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “If Mr. O’Keefe had not had his life jacket, it is very possible he may not be with us today. The Coast Guard encourages all boaters to boat smart and wear a life jacket while on the water.”