NYPD unit launches dramatic rescue effort after boat capsizes near Fire Island
The search has been suspended for a missing boater in the waters off Fire Island, as dramatic video shows the rescue efforts of the NYPD’s aviation unit.
A fishing boat overturned in the Fire Island Inlet Tuesday evening, throwing three people into the water.
Two of them were pulled out safely and are recovering.
In new aerial video, you can see the intense moments following that distress call, as two helicopters with the NYPD’s search and rescue team scanned the water with divers and infrared cameras.
Executing what they’ve spent countless hours training for, members of the NYPD search and rescue team were deployed to Fire Island Inlet Tuesday evening.
“We knew somebody was possibly trapped underneath the boat so we wanted to get the divers into the water as soon as possible,” said Detective Michael Sileo of the NYPD aviation unit. “We also had night closing in on us which kind of makes it a challenge.”
Repelling from above, they dove into the water below, desperately searching for a third victim unaccounted for who was thrown from the 23-foot pleasure boat when hit a break wave and suddenly overturned.
“Time was of the essence,” said Detective Brian Mullen. “We don’t know how much of an air pocket could be left, so once we deployed swam to the vessel. We breached it, went under and made sure nobody was there.”
“We have infrared capabilities,” said Sergeant Jason Wolf. “We were doing a scan of the water to make sure there were no heat signatures.”
While this particular search didn’t have the outcome they were hoping for…this elite team is routinely called upon.
Back in April their aviation unit helped rescue a 33-year-old man sinking in a kayak off Coney Island with the help of two divers…and just last month the team rescued a teen stranded on a jet ski in a marsh on Long Island.
“We have so many vast resources and capabilities that a lot of the surrounding jurisdictions don’t so we’re often called upon to assist in times like this,” said Wofl.
A spokesperson for the NYPD says their search and rescue team is the only 24/7 unit with these type of tools and resources in a 50 mile radius.
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