1 man, 2 dogs saved but boater dies after crashing into W. Fire Island home


A boat collision off the coast of West Fire Island in the Great South Bay turned tragic as one man lost his life and another was injured, according to police.

Suffolk police said a 30-foot Wellcraft center console boat had slammed into the home’s deck early Thursday morning, leaving it overturned at the northwest shore of the small island.

The location of West Fire Island, a small remote island that sits between Long Island’s South Shore and Fire Island. (Credit: Google Maps)

The Islip Fire Department and Exchange Ambulance of the Islips were alerted to the incident about 7:40 a.m., per the fire department’s Facebook page. Emergency responders from East Islip Fire Department, Bay Shore Fire Department, and West Islip Fire Department swiftly joined, offering assistance with fire boats.

Despite the challenging shallow waters near the island, personnel from various departments — including Islip Fire Department, East Islip Fire Department, West Islip Fire Department, and Suffolk County Police Department’s Marine Bureau — worked together to reach the crash site on foot.

Tragically, one man was found dead, and another was discovered injured but alive at the scene. Two dogs that were also on the boat emerged unharmed.

The person killed in the boating crash was identified as 47-year-old Phillip Sanzano of Bellport, according to police.

The injured man Christopher Cannella, 47, of West Babylon, was quickly transported to Bay Shore’s South Shore University Hospital for medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. The dogs were reunited with a family member.

No injuries were reported among the responders involved in the operation.

The Suffolk County Police Department has taken over the investigation to determine the circumstances leading to the collision.

Below is the photo of the boat that crashed into the house in West Fire Island.

The rescue team that saved a man and two dogs after a crash in West Fire Island. (Credit: Islip FD/ Facebook
The boat that crashed into a home in West Fire Island. (Credit: Islip FD/ Facebook)

Top: The injured man and dog rescued in today’s rescue in West Fire Island. (Credit: Islip FD/ Facebook)