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Dec 5, 2018 9:52 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Man Dies Following Personal Watercraft Accident Near Shinnecock Reservation

A personal watercraft capsized near the Shinnecock Reservation on Monday night, killing one of the two men on board. COURTESY LANCE GUMBS
Dec 6, 2018 3:58 PM

One man died and another was rescued after a personal watercraft they were riding on Monday evening capsized near Old Fort Pond, a tributary of Shinnecock Bay near the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.

State Police identified the victims as Barry Riddick, 56, of Southampton, who died in the accident, and John Jackman, 52, who was pulled from the water.

In a press release, State Police said Troopers and Southampton Town bay constables responded to the scene at 5:33 p.m. and were able to retrieve Mr. Jackman, who was hanging on to the capsized watercraft. He was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, police said, and is expected to recover. Mr. Jackman did not respond to requests for comment.

Southampton Fire Department Public Information Officer Don King said the department’s water rescue team assisted in the rescue efforts by launching a boat from the end of Little Neck Road, on the western side of Old Fort Pond in Shinnecock Hills.

Mr. King also said crew members from the department were located on the end of Little Beach Road on the reservation. Initially, he said, EMS crews thought there was a single victim, so once Mr. Jackman was rescued, crews began to wrap things up.

Shinnecock Tribal Trustee Lance Gumbs told crew members that he was concerned about the capsized watercraft being left in the water, especially so close to one of the tribe’s oyster beds. So he, along with two tribe members, EMS crew members and State Troopers, began walking the beach, in search of the watercraft. Mr. Gumbs said the bay constables and the fire department marine unit assisted in the search on the water.

A short time later, between Little Beach Road and Cemetery Road on the reservation, one of the Southampton Fire Department crew members spotted Mr. Riddick in the water and brought him onto the beach. Mr. Riddick was unresponsive and not breathing.

“Nobody knew there was a second person,” Mr. Gumbs said. “Most of the EMS people had left, so they had to come back.”

The fireman who found Mr. Riddick immediately began to try to resuscitate him on the beach. One of the problems with the beach where Mr. Riddick was found, is that there is no vehicle access. So, members of the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance assisted by driving an ATV onto the beach.

The Southampton Volunteer Ambulance also assisted at the scene.

Shane Weeks, a tribal member who was on the scene with Mr. Gumbs, said CPR was administered on the beach and in the ambulance.

“They really worked on him,” Mr. Gumbs said. “I gotta give credit where credit is due.”

Mr. Riddick was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital by Southampton Volunteer Ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

Shinnecock Tribal member Taobi Silva said on Tuesday that Mr. Riddick was driving the watercraft when Mr. Jackman fell off. When Mr. Riddick turned around to help Mr. Jackman back onto the watercraft, it capsized.

Both men were wearing life jackets, according to police, though neither was wearing a wetsuit.

Police have not said why the men were in the water at night in December. The investigation is still ongoing.

Mr. Gumbs said he has known Mr. Riddick for almost all of his life. In fact, Mr. Riddick’s sister, whom Mr. Gumbs did not identify, worked at his store, and he said her brother would always come to visit. “He was just a generally good person,” Mr. Gumbs said.

He added that Mr. Riddick was not a member of the tribe, and that the watercraft incident had nothing to do with the tribe.

“It was just a freak accident,” he said.

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So sad! RIP!!!
By MelissaA (48), Sag Harbor on Dec 4, 18 1:11 PM
I believe it was Southampton Fire Dept rescue boat that scooped up the survivor, nice job by those guys
By E12East (1), Southampton on Dec 4, 18 1:28 PM
Same as I heard. The original story had it as a multi agency operation, the update says it was only troopers and bay constables.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Dec 4, 18 1:57 PM
I was listening to the call and yes you seem correct. In fact, i don’t even think the bay constables were on scene yet when SFD made the grab. Great job by SFD 2nd assistant chief as incident commander and his captains running operations. The volunteer fire and ems agencies and their personnel from a radio monitoring perspective were fantastic.
By EastEnder17 (2), East Hampton on Dec 5, 18 4:44 PM
Why would anybody be riding a jet ski in this kind of weather and that time of day?
By HamptonDad (217), Hampton Bays on Dec 4, 18 1:49 PM
What a disrespectful comment at this sad time!
By 2329702 (41), East Quogue on Dec 5, 18 12:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Guess you didn't notice the question mark at the end of the sentence. There is a difference between a question and a comment!!
By HamptonDad (217), Hampton Bays on Dec 5, 18 7:26 PM
Such a disrespectful question. Barry was my neighbor.
By EA Yastrzemski (5), Southampton on Dec 9, 18 12:53 PM
Hamptondad, very sad news, but some people enjoy the sport in all weather. Surfers, kite boards and yes, jet skis. Was in Alaska on a glacier tour, a dozen of so doing the tour on jet skis.
A little planning and thought goes a long way. Prayers for the family...
By knitter (1717), Southampton on Dec 4, 18 2:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Knitter, you know it is illegal to ride a jet ski after dark. So, regardless if they enjoy riding them in the cold it is never Ok to ride in the dark.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Dec 5, 18 8:44 AM
Don king was in the water, according to this article.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Dec 4, 18 5:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
Cold water
By Aeshtron (318), Southampton on Dec 4, 18 8:13 PM
I bet that “crews immediately sprung back into action” line with no attribution is a regret....sloppy reporting helps no one. Being first ain’t that important. I still have no idea how this went down. Update 3 and 4 are complete contradictions??
By Brandon Quinn (186), Hampton Bays on Dec 5, 18 1:11 AM
So the online version and the print versions of this story are complete opposites. It is amazing what reporters hear and are willing to take as truth without second thought. It is disgusting how wrong these articles are. Kudos to the Southampton Fire Department boat crews and local EMS personnel. Makes me wonder how many other articles regarding the Southampton Bay Constables are them taking credit for volunteer work. Shame.
By BlackLab (39), Southampton on Dec 5, 18 1:21 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Dec 5, 18 9:53 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By toes in the water (839), southampton on Dec 6, 18 6:57 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Dec 6, 18 2:30 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Dec 6, 18 2:36 PM
A bunch of yentas. RIP and stifle the armchair quarterbacking. You all sound like heartless morons.
By even flow (831), East Hampton on Dec 10, 18 8:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
lifesaver, when did they got out? When did they run into problems? A lot of information is missing, before we jump to conclusions...
By knitter (1717), Southampton on Dec 10, 18 11:50 AM
None of anyone’s business. Go sell some crappy overpriced real estate
By even flow (831), East Hampton on Dec 11, 18 7:31 AM