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Aug 5, 2012 7:56 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Police Identify Man Who Drowned After Jet Ski Accident In Mecox Bay

Aug 9, 2012 9:08 AM

Update, Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Police have identified the man whose body was recovered from Mecox Bay on Tuesday morning as 29-year old Eleuterio Ubisse of Astoria, Queens.

Mr. Ubisse and a still unidentified woman were riding a jet ski in the bay on Sunday evening when the watercraft flipped over. The woman was brought shore uninjured by other boaters but Mr. Ubisse could not be found. An intensive search by numerous local police and fire departments on Sunday night and throughout the day on Monday was hampered by murky waters and shifting winds. The search was suspended on Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon about 1 p.m. police received a call from jet skiers on the bay that a body had washed up on a sandbar near the entrance to Burnetts Creek at the western edge of Mecox Bay, barely 100 yards from where searchers had been staging on Sunday and Monday.

His body was recovered by Southampton Town Bay Constables and turned over to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office.

Update, Monday, 12:45 p.m.

A Boca Raton, Florida, woman who summers in Southampton said she was near the accident scene on Sunday with her teenage daughter and fiance. The woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the trio had brought their dogs to run in the shallows of the bay and saw the Jetski with a man and woman on it at about 6:45 p.m. They didn’t actually observe the accident, but they noticed emergency responder vehicles shortly after 7 p.m. “I looked across the bay and saw two red lights blinking across the bay,” she said.

After taking the dogs back to their car, they witnessed the ensuing “commotion.” She said at one point she sat with the 19-year-old brother of the missing man; he told her they were from Mozambique and had been vacationing with friends at a house on Cobb Road. The missing man was an avid swimmer and very athletic, his brother told her.

The witness said her fiance let the brother call Africa on his cellphone, and that he spoke Portuguese. She also said the brother told her they had been drinking but were not intoxicated.

She said she overheard an officer telling the brother on Sunday evening that the search would be difficult because of the murky waters.

Update, Monday, 9:40 a.m.

The search for a man involved in a personal watercraft accident in Mecox Bay Sunday night resumed at 6:30 a.m. Monday, but it is presumed that the missing man most likely drowned.

“Unfortunately it is only a recovery operation at this point,” Town Police Sergeant Lewis Scott said at the scene.

The search resumed with boats from Southampton Town Police, East Hampton Town Police and the Suffolk County Police Department searching the large area of the bay.

Rescue workers say they are looking for a man they described only as black and approximately 30 years old.

Town Police Sergeant Lewis Scott said it is believed that the man and the woman he was riding with—the woman made it to shore safely—flipped the WaveRunner-style watercraft. The man was piloting the craft. Criminality is not suspected.

Shortly before 10 a.m., police were searching a part of the bay where the water is as deep as 15 feet.

“The search area is quite large,” Sgt. Scott said. There are no currents in the bay, but “wind does have an effect and today the wind is opposite what it was last night so that complicates it.”

The boats were cruising around slowly using sonar.

Update, Monday, 6:20 a.m.

According to a statement released by police late Sunday night, the woman Jet-Ski rider was assisted by a passing motorist who brought her onboard his boat.

The man, who police have not identified other than to say he is 29 years old, was not located.

A search was expected to resume at first light.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Southampton Town Police at 702-2230.

Update, 10:05 p.m.

Officials now say that a man and woman were riding on a single Jet-Ski when it crashed shortly before 7 p.m. The woman was able to make it shore, but there was no sign of the man.

Update, 8:45 p.m.

Rescue workers have called off the search for the missing man for the night due to darkness and are expected to resume the search in the morning.

“The search is suspended until Monday morning due to darkness and the risk to searchers’ safety because of a lack of visibility,” a rescue worker said.

Update, 8:23 p.m.

According to one rescue worker, the accident occurred off Rose Hill Road.

“We’re racing against the dark,” he said.

Original Story:

Emergency crews are searching for one of two drivers of two personal watercraft that collided in Mecox Bay just after 7 p.m. on Sunday night.

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So, was this a boating accident between two watercraft? Or one watercraft and a stationary item? Was this man wearing a life jacket? What did they crash in to? I understand details were sketchy, but these are questions that need to be asked....
By The Royal 'We' (198), Southampton on Aug 6, 12 9:38 AM
Pretty obvious at this point it was a single watercraft, holding two people, one of whom is missing and presumed dead.
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Aug 6, 12 10:45 AM
Why would this statement be made? "Criminality is not suspected." It's bizarre. This was a terrible accident with neither rider wearing a floatation device as they should have been.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Aug 6, 12 10:54 AM
I was parked at the end of rose hill road at around 5:30 yesterday when I saw three little girls wearing life vests alone in an inflatable boat that was drifting rapidly across mecox bay. They were waving in distress and rapidly drifted out of sight toward the dock to the east of rose hill rd where I saw a man dive into the water to rescue them. I couldn't see what happened next..but heard sirens not too long after. Are these two incidents completely unrelated? I hope the little girls are OK.
By bridgewoodsmom (14), bridgehampton on Aug 6, 12 11:58 AM
girls are ok,the incidents are separate.
By Common Scense (24), Southampton on Aug 6, 12 12:39 PM
So sorry for this loss of life.

This is a hard way to learn why NYS requires riders of personal watercraft to wear a PFD (personal flotation device). BTW inflatable PFD's are not approved for PWC use. Presumably the man was not wearing an approved PFD?

Did the couple's host here provide PFD's for them to wear?

In the confined waters of Mecox Bay, it is likely that the recovery efforts will be successful, but this may take a few days.
By PBR (4952), Southampton on Aug 6, 12 1:47 PM
Very sad event. Piloting or riding in a jet ski after a few drinks with no PFD isn't the smartest thing to do.

By C Law (350), Water Mill on Aug 6, 12 2:12 PM
This reads more like Edgar Allan Poe, than the SH Press...
By Mr. Z (11670), North Sea on Aug 6, 12 9:07 PM
the details and everything about this is sketchy. there's not really anything to crash into in the bay, and though there are deep spots, most of the thing is only a couple feet deep. it's getting pretty gross, though - the last time they onpened the cut, it was only a trickle, and was open for about a day and a half. the thing needs to be opened again if they want anything to live in there - besides this mozambiquan, obviously... but really, i don't get how the guy just slipped away like that.
By milkdilk (49), Southampton on Aug 7, 12 10:43 AM
dependss on the percentage of body fat, swallow a lot of water and your body ends up on the bottom for a couple of days until it bloats & floats.
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Aug 7, 12 12:08 PM
I'm glad the poor young man was found, and am so sorry for his family and friends loss. While none of us knows what happened, many people ride jet skis much too fast and corner too steeply. It may have flipped and he may have gotten whiplashed or hit his head and been unable to save himself. His brother said he was a strong swimmer. A flotation jacket might have saved him. It's very sad this happened.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Aug 7, 12 4:29 PM
Here comes the stupid comments of they" ride too fast" or "they corner too fast". The real story is you need to wear a life jacket when your on a jet ski PERIOD. God forbid you hit your head or pass out at least people can rescue you for the simple fact you are floating. This is an accident that could of been prevented by following the rules, and using common sense. Very unfortunate accident I feel bad for his family.
By chief1 (2784), southampton on Aug 7, 12 6:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Following rules". I like that the best thing I've read in this postl
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Aug 8, 12 9:42 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Aug 8, 12 12:55 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By chief1 (2784), southampton on Aug 7, 12 6:02 PM
Yet another tragedy in whats supposed to be a small quiet town where "nothing is supposed to happen". The bottom line is we have become a society where EVERYTHING is fast, and EVERYONE feels that there somehow invincible, and they can disregard simple safety pre cautions and laws, with the mind set of "that won't happen to me". Unfortunatley, all we end up with is more sensless deaths. My prayers go out to his family
By srk (15), southampton on Aug 7, 12 9:24 PM
2 members liked this comment
I spend half my time here and the other half in the city. Been coming out here 9 years and the one thing I have noticed is that everyone is in a rush. Whether you own a house or rent, this is the Hamptons and its a wonderful place to slow down and smell the flowers and the salt air.
By Summer Resident (250), Southampton N.Y. on Aug 9, 12 12:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
There is no mention of the Jet Ski itself. Was it recovered right away, did it come ashore someplace, or did it sink? Any signs of a collision with a buoy, bulkhead, etc.?

If the kill switch worked correctly, shouldn't the ski have stopped at the spot where the driver lost control and fell off?

Was the woman passenger able to hold on to the ski until help from the other boater came, or was there some reason she headed to the shore? For instance, was the shore close, and could she ...more
By PBR (4952), Southampton on Aug 9, 12 6:24 AM

Yup! Real crappy reporting.Too much info that means nothing to the case, it's just filler to swell the page.....
By Tommy Turbo (60), Deep River, CT on Aug 9, 12 1:55 PM
Rest in peace Leo Ubisse....we will miss you dearly...and know you'll be there in spirit at your memorial party.. much luv. Gone too young :(
By fairydust (1), NY on Aug 9, 12 9:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
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