Two Kite Surfers Rescued Near Copiague, NY

NEW YORK–Two kite surfers were rescued after a multi-agency search near Tanner Park in Copiague, N.Y., at about 1:30 p.m. today.

Coast Guard Station Fire Island received a call stating a kite surfer was in distress near Bay Blvd. in Tanner Park from the Suffolk County Police Department at 12:40 p.m. The Suffolk County Police received the call for help from two of the kite surfer’s friends on the beach.

Station Fire Island launched a rescue crew immediately to the location given by the Suffolk County Police. On the way to the scene the crew spotted another kite surfer in distress. He was found in low visibility conditions. The rescue crew picked up the surfer and transported him to a nearby beach, and then continued to Tanner Park. He had no injuries.

A Suffolk County helicopter was launched at 12:50 p.m. and began search patterns in the area. The helicopter located the surfer at 1:34 p.m. and was able to relay his location to a nearby Lindenhurst Fire Department Marine unit. They picked up the surfer and began administering first aid for a reported leg injury.

Rescue crews from the Babylon Bay Constables, the Tanner Park and Amityville Fire Departments and Suffolk County land and marine units also assisted in the search.

“The Coast Guard urges all recreational swimmers and kite surfers to always go with a buddy,” said Lt. j.g. Robert Skinner, Sector Long Island Sound command duty officer. “Should something go wrong, someone will be there to help, or get help if you are in distress.”

The weather on scene was 15-20 knot winds and choppy seas.

Both rescued wind surfers were wearing wet suits and personal flotation belt devices.

“Even though the air temperatures are warm, the water is frigid and can cause hypothermia within minutes if proper survival gear is not worn,” said Cmdr. Robert McKenna, Sector Long Island Sound Chief of Response. “Cases like these can easily end in loss of life if people don’t take the proper precautions or avoid undue risk.”

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