Gene Monahan, 57, is accused of dispensing gas directly from a tank truck into boats, creating a fire hazard
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest yesterday of an Amityville man accused of illegally fueling boats in Nassau and Suffolk County with gasoline.
Gene Monahan, 57, the owner of Rising Tide Fuel LLC, is charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree (an A misdemeanor) and five violations of the New York State Fire Code and Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinances. He is due back in court on October 7 and was released on his own recognizance. The case was investigated jointly by the Nassau County Fire Marshal and the NCDA Environmental Crimes Unit.
“This defendant allegedly ignored repeated written warnings to stop dispensing highly flammable fuel in a dangerous and unlawful way that created a serious risk of fire and injury,” DA Singas said. “Today’s arrest serves as a reminder that skirting fire codes and safety ordinances can have serious consequences and I thank the Nassau County Fire Marshal for helping to stop this defendant and highlighting this potentially catastrophic fueling practice to the public.”
“The in-water fueling of gasoline powered vessels must be done at an approved marine motor fuel dispensing facility, to do otherwise is inherently dangerous,” Fire Marshal Division Supervisor Vincent McManus said.
DA Singas said the Nassau County Fire Marshal has been investigating Monahan’s company, Rising Tide, for at least one year. In July 2015, the Fire Marshal discovered that the company was allegedly dispensing gasoline directly from a tank truck into boats located in marinas or private residences in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Despite numerous warnings and written notices from the Fire Marshal, Monahan allegedly continued to make home and marina deliveries in 2016. Singas said that passing flammable liquid such as gasoline through a truck hose can create static electricity at the nozzle area, which creates a serious risk of fire.
Singas noted that Monahan allegedly sold fuel at a lower price than neighboring marina facilities, but warned the public that fuel deliveries from suppliers that violate fire codes and ordinances put their families, their neighbors, and their property at serious risk of harm.
Fire marshals also said that fueling a boat directly from a tank truck creates an environmental hazard as flammable liquids may spill directly into the water or onto the soil in the process.
In addition to the arrest, a search warrant was executed by NCDA investigators and fire marshals at Monahan’s Amityville home, where his business is also located. Records seized indicate that Rising Tide made hundreds of sales of gasoline in Nassau and Suffolk counties in 2016.
Assistant District Attorneys Heidi Bausk and Brian Heid, Chief of DA Singas’ Environmental Crimes Unit, are prosecuting the case. Monahan is represented by Gerald Dandeneau, Esq.
The charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.