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Boater May Have Been Drunk in Crash That Hurt 4, Authorities Say

A boat headed for Tiverton crashed June 22, police said.

File photo.
File photo.

Alcohol could have been a factor in the boating accident June 22 during which Portsmouth firefighters likely saved the life of a man who was ejected into the water and rescued three others on board who suffered serious injuries.

The state Department of Environmental Management continues to investigate the incident.

DEM spokeswoman Gail Mastrati said officials are still exploring whether alcohol played a deciding role in the crash and if charges will be filed against one or more people on the boat that night.

Portsmouth Police officers reportedly could smell alcohol on the breath of the boat’s owner and another man on the boat, each of whom told police the other was behind the wheel.

The accident, which caused significant damage to a 26-foot Bluefin and was heard by a man fishing nearby who said he heard a loud crash and a man screaming for help, easily could have been a tragedy since Portsmouth firefighters happened to be nearby and returning to Portsmouth after assisting in an earlier search for a Warwick boater who had gone missing and was subsequently found dead.

The boat's owner, identified as Michael I. Biszko, 30, of Westport, Mass., told police he was heading back to Tiverton after time at Blu in East Greenwich and that he was using GPS and radar on his vessel when he hit something. He said he was not familiar with the area and immediately called the Coast Guard after the crash.

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