Flushing man on fishing trip lost off Jones Beach

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

A Flushing man out on a fishing trip with a friend disappeared off Jones Beach Saturday after the boat he was on capsized in high waves, authorities said.

Don Lee, 27, of 32nd Avenue disappeared after the 20-foot boat turned over about a half mile out on the Jones Beach inlet at 12:50 p.m., according to officials with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Salvatore Derise, 40, of Port Jefferson, L.I. who was fishing with Lee, clung to the boat for his life until rescuers picked him up, officials said.

Derise was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where he was treated for hypothermia and ingested sea water, officials said.

Nearly 24 hours after Derise was rescued, the boat was hauled in after being found southwest of the location where it capsized, said Coast Guard Senior Chief Peter Hocking.

The Coast Guard combed the area in the rain. But as of 4 p.m. Sunday, it had called off the search for Lee.

“Unless we get some more information, we do not intend to go back out,” Hocking said.

The son of a sexton at the Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Flushing, Lee lived with his parents at a home with a backyard that faces the church, parishioners said.

Lee’s family had emigrated from Korea and had been influential members of the church for two years, said the Rev. Sang Keun Kim, although Kim pointed out that Lee did not attend the church.

Kim said Lee’s disappearance had hit all of the congregation hard.

Lee’s parents were trying to come to terms with the apparent loss of their son, Kim said.

“They’re in agony,” he said.

Coast Guard Lt. Marc Sennick said neither Lee nor Derise was wearing a life jacket.

Sennick said the Coast Guard had received reports of breaking surf rising to heights of four to eight feet within the Jones Beach inlet.

“Any type of breaking surf is dangerous,” Sennick said.

Sennick added that he encouraged boaters to wear life jackets and to be aware of weather conditions.

The Jones Beach inlet on the south shore of Long Island is a common destination for fishing and pleasure boats.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group