NYPD Officer Killed, Friend Injured After Boat Catapults Into West Fire Island Waterfront House


Fire Island, NY – A veteran New York Police Department (NYPD) officer was killed and another person was injured when their boat slammed into a house on the coast of West Fire Island early on Thursday.

The Suffolk County Police Department said the wreck occurred at about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 10 when the boat catapulted out of Great South Bay and smashed into a waterfront home, the New York Post reported.

Police said it wasn’t known what caused the bizarre crash.

Authorities said the 30-foot Wellcraft center-console boat overturned on land and then lodged itself in the home’s deck, the New York Post reported.

Suffolk County police said the tide was so low at that point that fire, police, and Coast Guard rescue boats that responded to the scene were unable to get to the crash, News12 reported.

Officials said police personnel had to wade through shallow water to access the scene.

Responding officers found one man dead and another man seriously injured, News12 reported.

Two dogs who were on the boat were not hurt, according to police.

Police said the injured victim, 47-year-old Christopher Cannella, was knocked unconscious in the crash but awoke long enough to call 911, News12 reported.

“He just said he remembers hitting something, he lost consciousness for a bit and when he woke up, he was struggling to find a phone to make a phone call,” Islip Fire Department Captain Joe Ferrari told reporters.

Cannella was transported across Fire Island in a golf cart with his dogs for transport to South Shore University Hospital on the mainland.

Police said he suffered injuries to his ribs, shoulder, and likely sustained a concussion, News12 reported.

The man pronounced dead at the crash scene has been identified as 47-year-old NYPD Officer Phillip Sanzano, the New York Post reported.

The 18-year veteran of NYPD worked in the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

He was also a U.S. military veteran, according to the New York Post.

Police said that Cannella and Sanzano had departed before dawn that morning on a fishing trip.

The Islip Fire Department said the boat had to be going very fast before the wreck, and police said the boat would have had to be airborne in order to land where it did, the New York Post reported.

Detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department’s Third Squad are investigating the crash.

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