A tugboat captain died and three other crew members were injured when the tugboat sank off Fire Island yesterday.

Newsday reports, "Donald Maloney, the on-duty captain and the one crew member not wearing his immersion suit, became separated from his crew in the water as the 1991 62-foot Sea Bear tugboat was sinking." Master Chief Chad Wendt of the Fire Island Coast Guard said, "The survivors were all in their immersion suits, and that's what saved their lives."

The Sea Bear, which was been traveling from Shinnecock to NYC, began sinking in the "icy and stormy waters" near Ocean Beach, and one crew member called the Coast Guard at 2 p.m. Coast Guard Petty Officer Morgan Gallapis said, "They had only seconds to let us know before they sank."

The surviving crew members, who were found a mile from the Fire Island Pines, were treated for hypothermia (the water temperature was 37 degrees). Another Coast Guard Petty Officer, Chris Crociata, said that one crew member's immersion suit had begun filling with water, "He was about to give up, and he heard the engines of the vessel ... and it gave him a little hope to hold on a little bit longer."

The Coast Guard is investigating why the tugboat sank.