WATCH: Dramatic rescue of woman, 5 others after boat capsizes on Long Island Sound

Adam Warner
June 10, 2019 - 6:43 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – Six people were rescued after a boat capsized on the Long Island Sound off City Island – and NYPD video shows divers saving a woman from the overturned vessel.



The boat overturned about 5:30 p.m. Sunday in an area near Execution Rock. The Coast Guard says five people were in the water before they were safely rescued with help from the FDNY.

A man was screaming that his wife was underwater and hadn't made it out with the others, the FDNY said.

NYPD divers deployed from a helicopter found the sixth victim, a woman, in an air pocket under the boat.

The woman had become tangled in fishing gear and was trapped in the two-foot air pocket, according to officials.

Det. Brian Mullen, a veteran scuba team member, said it was a challenging rescue because the cabin opening was narrow and debris was in the way.

The first feeling I had was when I saw the foot move – ‘Thank God that she’s alive.’ My second thought was, ‘How am I going to get her out of here?’”

The woman didn’t speak English and it was hard to give her instructions on how to swim out without letting go of the air supply Mullen gave her.

"When we arrived on scene, a man was screaming that his wife was underwater and never made it out when the other passengers escaped. Firefighter Christopher Warner was at the helm of our boat, operating in choppy conditions, and Firefighter Lawrence Rooney was already suited up in cold water gear. Firefighter Stephen Maly ensured that Firefighter Rooney was properly tethered before he entered the water, and as Firefighter Rooney swam toward the overturned vessel, two divers from NYPD Aviation Unit were lowered into the water. The NYPD members swam under the overturned vessel and confirmed that the individual was conscious, but tangled in fishing gear. As they removed her, Firefighter Rooney grabbed the individual's shoulder. The person was in hypothermic shock," says #FDNY Lt. Ilya Zerakhto #Marine4 who was on scene of an overturned vessel earlier this evening in Long Island Sound off of #CityIsland in the #Bronx. Upon FDNY's arrival, five individuals had been removed from the water by other city and county agencies, and one remained trapped underneath the overturned boat. Although trapped, and surrounded by debris, the individual found a pocket of air and remained there while the rescue operation was underway. Firefighter Rooney secured the individual, and Marine 4 members used a tethered line to pull Firefighter Rooney and the rescued person to the safety of the fireboat. Lt. Zerakhto says, "We train throughout the year in marine rescue, and before the FDNY Summer Boat Program begins in May, we complete a two-week course that is mandatory for all Firefighters and Officers. We drill every single day on the water, and we hold interagency drills. The teamwork today between FDNY and the other agencies was exceptional." FDNY responded alongside various city and county agencies, including @nypd, New Rochelle Police Department, Port Washington Fire Department, Mamaroneck Police Department, Nassau County Police Marine Bureau, and the North Hempstead Bay Constable. Seven patients were transported to hospitals on Long Island.

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So he pushed her through the hatch to his partner, Officer James Roche, who took hold of her legs and hands and brought her to safety.

“I grabbed her and swam her to the surface,” Roche said. “She was moving a little bit, but not panicking.”

Mullen said not all rescues turn out as well, so this one was rewarding.

“Whenever you get a chance to do this, it’s very fulfilling. This is why we’re here,” he said.

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