Former Party Boat Partly Sinks in Bay

January 28, 2007 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

The authorities are investigating the partial sinking yesterday of a paddleboat in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, that once was used for party cruises.

The 89-foot boat, called the Sunset Queen, began to sink after a night watchman heard a bang from somewhere on the vessel about 5:30 a.m., law enforcement officials said.

The boat, moored to a pier in the bay, had been decommissioned since October, when its certificate of inspection expired, according to Petty Officer Third Class Daniel Bender, a spokesman for the Coast Guard.

After the bang, the watchman said, the boat began listing and sinking. The Coast Guard said it was notified about 9:30 a.m., and arrived soon after to discover the vessel’s stern submerged. About 1 p.m., the incoming tide flooded the vents to the fuel tanks, Officer Bender said.

Some fuel began to spill into the bay; the boat’s owner, Anthony Zito, said the tanks held about 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel, according to law enforcement officials.

After the watchman heard the bang, he said he discovered broken glass and a smashed window in the boat’s pantry, the police said. They said it was unclear whether the broken window was related to the bang or partial sinking.

The watchman, whose name was not released, said he had been hired because of previous break-ins, the police said.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Published: January 28, 2007

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