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Experienced Noank sailor killed in Fishers Island race

Fishers Island, N.Y. — New York State Police have identified the man killed in Saturday's sailboat race in Fishers Island Sound as Donald Wilkinson, 54, of Noank.

Wilkinson, an experienced sailor who is married with two children, was struck in the head by a boom during the 2:19 p.m. incident which occurred between North Hill and South Dumpling. Police are investigating the cause of his injury.

Wilkinson, who was among a half-dozen people on the boat, was taken to Noank by rescue personel and then to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. Wilkinson, who owns Northeast Storm Protection LLC, is a member of the Mystic River Mudheads and the Ram Island Yacht Club.

Saturday's around Fishers Island race was instead held within Fishers Island Sound because of windy conditions.

"There was nothing wrong with being out there yesterday for an experienced sailor or boats. There was nothing unusual about the day," said his father-in-law George Hohenstein who was among the friends and relatives gathering at Wilkinson's Harbor Court home late this morning. "It was just a tragic accident."

Another sailboat participating in the race ran aground on South Dumpling and was badly damaged. Its crew was rescued by two men aboard a boat watching the race. There were no injuries.

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