A Bronx man died Friday after jumping from his fishing boat in the Long Island Sound. NY1's Lori Chung filed the following report.
"That was his main hobby. He would go to work; after work, straight fishing,"
Friends and neighbors say that's how they'll remember Jesus Ortega—a man who loved life on the water, always showing off his latest catch.
"He's always in high spirits, always, and then for me to hear this... it really hurts," said Cano Diaz, a friend of the victim.
Police say Ortega and another man were fishing in the Long Island Sound late Friday night when they saw another boat bearing down on them.
They jumped in the water to avoid being hit. The collision never happened—and while the other man was able to get back into their boat, Ortega remained in the water.
Emergency responders pulled the 46-year-old out of the Sound and rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"He's a good swimmer. I just don't understand how he drowned like that. Cause he always put his safe belt—his how do you call that? His life guard. He used to have one all the time. They found him without one. It's very...very... I can't even talk because it's so sad," said
Here at the Castle Hill Houses where he was known as "Red," friends say he'll be missed.
"Family man, family man, you know, works hard," said friend Azar Parker.
"The one thing that used to make me laugh a lot: he always walked around this neighborhood with a dog on his shoulder, and that dog never left his side," another friend said.
Ortega's family is now asking for privacy while they grieve.
In the meantime, the medical examiner is working to determine the exact cause of death.