In less than an hour on July 6th, the lives of two teenagers floating in the Long Island Sound were saved by a heroic team of first responders who worked together so well and coordinated that the entire incident sounded like a story. incredible. Or maybe even a miracle.

At 5:10, Southold Police Headquarters received a call that a 23-foot Grady-White had failed in the bay about 2 to 3 miles north of Duck Pond Point in Kachig.

A damaged ship is one thing, but there’s more to it. The 18-year-old man who called 911 also said two of his friends, also 16, had jumped into the channel for a swim and were now drifting east with the fast ebbing tide. Neither was wearing a life jacket.

Caller Benjamin Grodski was unable to rescue them as the ship was damaged. He needs help. Quickly. His friends quickly disappeared from sight.

This is where the first responders come in – four trained members of the Katsig Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team, multiple town police officers, a town harbor warden, a Suffolk County rescue helicopter and the U.S. Coast Guard , all coordinated by two Southold Police dispatchers, has accomplished a series of astonishing feats. Or maybe they are miracles.

Read today’s newspaper coverage of this water rescue and make up your own mind.

About 20 minutes after receiving the 911 call, members of the Water Rescue Team — Capt. Joe Hinton, Lt. Christian Figurniak, Lt. Ken Pearsall and Lt. Bryan Zissel — boarded the department’s Zodiac and headed northeast from Duck Pond Point in search of disabled People Grady White.

When they got to the boat – with the help of Southold Police Dispatchers Michael Borken and Donna Lane, who were coordinating the operation – they found Benjamin and another 16-year-old on board. The other two teenagers were out of sight farther east – drifting northeast on the rapids in the wide channel.

The four turned the zodiac to the east and began their search.

There are some very important lessons to be drawn from this incident. First, there’s an element of good luck: Had the channel not been quite calm, had the water temperature (73 degrees) been colder, or night had fallen before the teen was spotted, the outcome could have been very different.

The second lesson was even more important: Having well-trained personnel in all departments in North Fork was the difference between life and death. The four members of the Kachiguet Water Rescue Team are some of the most impressive first responders and athletes we have encountered over the years telling our community’s story.

We commend everyone involved in this incident, especially the two police dispatchers who pulled everything together, kept the lines of communication open and coordinated the rescue.

On a beautiful summer evening on Long Island Sound, the work of the dispatcher and the dedication and skill of the water rescue team saved the lives of two teens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *