Francis Lewis student, dad killed in L.I. boat accident

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A Flushing father and daughter on a fishing trip were killed this week when their boat suddenly capsized in a Long Island inlet on the south shore.

Jimmy Young, 49, and his daughter Jacqueline, a 16-year-old student at Francis Lewis High School, both died after their 22-foot boat flipped over at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the rough waters of the Moriches Inlet, authorities said.

A friend of the family, Dickson Hee, 45, of Roslyn, also died in the accident. Susan Young, Jimmy's wife, and their 9-year-old son, Kevin, were knocked off the boat but survived, Suffolk County police said.

The U.S. Coast Guard pulled Jimmy Young and Hee out of the water and rushed them to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, where they were declared dead. A rescuer with the private company Sea Tow pulled Jacqueline Young out from under the overturned boat. She was taken to Brookhaven in critical condition and died Monday morning.

The accident shocked the Youngs' relatives, who described Jimmy Young as a seasoned boater and "captain of the ship."

"Jimmy was one of the most compassionate people you'll ever meet," said Mike Young, one of Jimmy's two younger brothers, at a gathering at the Young's Flushing home Monday evening.

After the boat tipped over, Jimmy Young and Hee were immediately thrown clear of the vessel, police said.

Susan Young and her children were caught in an air pocket underneath the boat, police said.

Knowing her children were experienced swimmers, Susan Young told the two of them, who were wearing life jackets, to head for the shore, police said.

Kevin Young made it out from under the boat and was picked up by a good samaritan, the Coast Guard said.

Jacqueline Young, however, was caught underneath the vessel, authorities said.

Les Trafford, a rescuer with Sea Tow, spotted the high school student.

"Her legs were dangling under the boat," he said. "I got a hold of her, and with the help of a passing diver I got her up into (our) boat."

In 52-degree water, Susan Young remained under the boat, which floated to shore, police said.

Authorities offered differing accounts of how far from shore the boat capsized. Some published reports put the distance at half a mile, but Lt. Tom Martorano of the Suffolk Police's Marine Bureau estimated the boat was about 200 yards out.

There were also conflicting accounts of who was wearing a life jacket.

Susan Young told police that all five were dressed in life jackets, but the Coast Guard reported only Susan and Kevin Young were wearing them.

Trafford, however, said he removed Jacqueline Young's as he rescued her, which lead to the confusion.

Martorano said the combination of relatively shallow waters, strong winds and shifting sand bars makes the inlet dangerous.

"It's treacherous. It's always been," he said. "It's considered a non-navigable inlet by the U.S. Coast Guard."

Young's family, however, said Jimmy Young and Hee often fished the inlet and took many precautions.

"The safety of his family was always his primary concern," Jimmy's brother Roger said.

Jimmy Young had retired from his business dispensing soda and refrigeration supplies to restaurants, his brothers said.

"His kids adored him," Roger Young said.

Jacqueline Young was a talkative 10th grader and martial artist who followed in her father's footsteps of working to help others, her uncles said.

"She was beginning her life," Mike Young said.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

Posted 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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