Thank goodness they were wearing their life jackets.

Children rescued

Newsday Staff Writer

July 4, 2006

Seven children were rescued in Peconic Bay after their boat flipped in choppy waters, Southold police said yesterday.

Chief William Brewer of the Cutchogue Fire Department said the children, whose ages could not be determined, were about a quarter- to a half-mile off Robins Island near New Suffolk on Sunday.

There had been strong winds, with gusts up to 30 mph blowing from the southwest. The conditions prompted the National Weather Service to issue warnings for smaller craft, such as the 15-foot motorboat the children were in, to stay away from open water.

Capt. Martin Flatley of the Southold police said that at around 2 p.m., a wave broke over the bow, flipping the boat. The children, all of whom were wearing life vests, were tossed into the water. Police said a passing boater spotted them and took them ashore.

"Without life preservers, it could have gone a lot worse than it did," Flatley said. Neither the rescuer's name, nor those of the children, were available yesterday. They were taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport as a precautionary measure Sunday afternoon, police said.

"It's Fourth of July weekend," Flatley said. "Even though it's not the best weather for being out there, there're still a lot of boaters."

Yesterday, it was not clear whether there was an adult on board. However, children between 10 and 18 years old can operate a boat upon completing an eight-hour course and earning a New York State Safe Boater Certificate, Officer Steven Brussell of the Suffolk Police Marine Bureau said.

Newsday Article