2007-04-26 / Front Page


By Charles Rogers

By Charles Rogers

A Long Island resident taking advantage of the first day of pleasant weather we'd had in weeks, who went fishing with his best friend Saturday, drowned after both men fell off their boat off Canarsie Pier, police said. The other man survived.

Local police sources who are investigating the incident reported that Charles Rosenberg, 37, of Hewlett, L.I. died after disappearing in the waters a few hundred yards southwest of Canarsie Pier. His companion, William Schulken, also 37, of Valley Stream was able to swim to a nearby buoy, to which he clung until he was rescued by a civilian boat.

Witnesses who were fishing from Canarsie Pier told 69th Precinct patrol officers and detectives that they saw both shipmates fall off the small boat together at about 3:30 p.m. The boaters apparently tried to swim to the craft but it floated away. One man then swam to a buoy and the other man disappeared in the water, the witnesses said.

The NYPD's Harbor Patrol and two Aviation Unit helicopters, plus U.S. Coast Guard patrol units and National Park Police boats were all called into service then, with a number of Emergency Medical Service paramedics stationed on Canarsie Pier, Paerdegat Basin and as far away as the Rockaways.

When the private boat picked up Schulken from the buoy, they transferred him to a Park Police boat sent from Floyd Bennett Field. Meanwhile, a diver aboard one of the NYPD helicopters was deployed into the water to try to locate Rosenberg's body, which he found within minutes. The victim was taken to a Park Police boat in apparent cardiac arrest and then taken by helicopter to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:56 p.m.

Meanwhile, Schulken was taken to Peninsula Hospital in good condition. The boat used by the two men was retrieved by the Coast Guard.

Officials from the 69th Precinct Detective Squad are continuing the investigation.

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