A man who tried swimming toward his boat that went adrift on a clamming trip was found unconscious floating in Flanders Bay and later died, Southampton Town Police said.

A boater found the man not breathing and unconscious floating in the bay north of Birch Creek, pulled the victim onto their vessel and called police at 2:30 p.m. Monday, authorities said.

Southampton Town Bay Contables and U.S. Coast Guard responded and performed CPR on the man before he was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he later died.

Detectives determined that the man and a family member had been clamming nearby when the wind and tide caused their aluminum boat to come off its anchor and drift away.

The victim swam toward the boat while the other man kept an eye on him, but the second man lost sight of the swimmer and realized that he did not reach the boat.

The second man yelled for help when a passing boater stopped, joined the search and found the missing swimmer near the drifting boat a distance from shore.

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The victim was taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office where an autopsy will be conducted.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.