hellgate.jpgA 17-foot motorboat called "Bite Me" was capsized by the wake of a passing tugboat yesterday afternoon and a group of six people were thrown into the water. The boat's owner was taking a friend and his family, including his wife, two daughters and a nephew, for a cruise around the Statue of Liberty. On the return trip, their boat was swamped by the passing tug and all six people were in the water for about ten minutes until a passing yachtsman came to their aid. One witness was unimpressed by other boaters' behavior. "Private boats kept passing and no one stopped to help. 'It really shows what New Yorkers are made of,' said witness Jack Eisenkeit, 59."

Hell Gate is the tidal strait where the East River joins the westernmost end of the Long Island Sound and is located between Randall's Island and Astoria Queens. When the tide is turning, the current in the river is intimidating looking; we've seen the water churn like rapids. The name Hell Gate is a corruption, or anglicization of the Dutch name Hellegat, meaning "bright passage."

(hell's gate and boat, by thrownoutawindow at flickr)