At least 21 deaths have been attributed to Hurricane Irene, and even though it was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it tore through the Northeast, it still proved deadly. One fatality has been reported in the Bronx, where a 68-year-old father of 13 died while checking in on his boat at a marina Sunday morning. Police say Jose Sierra was found dead at the City Island Marina Sunday afternoon, over seven hours after he was spotted arriving at the the Sunset Marina nearby.
Locals speculate that the wind swept him into the water by his boat sometime around 9 a.m., some time after the owner of the Sunset Marina saw Sierra wave to him as he went to check on his new 16-passenger boat, purchased just last week. His body was later found by the City Island Marina owner, who tells the Daily News, "I saw his body, face up, hung on a line in between some boats. I was pretty upset. It's not something you see every day."
His devastated daughter tells the Post her father "was a self-made man. Everybody knows him for his kindness and his charity. After fishing, he would just give out the fish to people. He was a beautiful man." At this point, Sierra is the only confirmed Irene-related fatality in NYC.