Two Brooklyn fishermen are dead after a fishing boat capsized in Jamaica Bay Friday night, tossing them and three other anglers into storm-swept waters, authorities say.
Ricardo Mejia, 42, and Joel Ortiz, 50, were pronounced dead early Saturday after the boat overturned near Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn at about 8:15 p.m., according to the NYPD. Two of the people were able to swim ashore on their own, but the other three anglers had to be rescued.
One of the people who made it to dry land walked through the woods and emerged near an NYPD operations center where rescue crews are based, sources said. He flagged down an officer, and FDNY and NYPD rescuers responded within minutes, the source said.
Police and firefighters rescued the three remaining people from the choppy waters. The two people who died were taken to the hospital in critical condition, and the rest of the people who were on the boat were suffering from exhaustion, police said. Mejia and Ortiz died a short time later.
Family members say Mejia is a building super in Crown Heights. He has three children ages 19, 15 and 1. His family said he and the other men on the boat are avid fishermen who go boating regularly.
A coastal storm has been battering the region since late Thursday, and is expected to continue bringing rain, high winds and high waves into Saturday.
It's not clear why the people were fishing in the middle of the storm. Waves in the bay were as high as 10 to 15 feet Friday night, according to Storm Team 4.