Police: Jesus Ortega, of Castle Hill, drowns in Long Island Sound

A man drowned during a late-night fishing trip in the Long Island Sound after leaping from a boat with his friend.



Jesus Ortega, a 46-year-old Castle Hill resident, was unconscious when rescuers pulled him from the water near SUNY Maritime College on Pennyfield Avenue in Throggs Neck.



Police say Ortega and his 53-year-old friend jumped overboard at around 11:40 p.m. Friday because they were afraid an oncoming craft would hit them. The two crafts never collided, and Ortega's friend made it back to the boat fine.



The victim's stepson, Elwin Betancourt, says the fishing trip was part of his stepfather's daily routine, and he went shortly after work. He also says his father, who was a veteran, believed water safety was paramount, and would not let anyone near the water without a life jacket.



Ortega's mother says he had gone fishing with the same friend many times prior to the incident. The victim posted a photo on Facebook a little more than an hour before he was found in the water.



Ortega was pronounced dead at Jacobi Medical Center. The medical examiner is working to determine the exact cause of death.



A co-worker says Ortega was a great guy and was good at his job at Linear Lighting Corp. in Queens.


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."