Coast Guard rescues jet skier in Great South Bay

Corrected version
NEW YORK – A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a jet skier with symptoms of hypothermia in Great South Bay, near Babylon, N.Y., May 10, 2011.

The Coast Guard initially responded to a report of two unmanned and adrift jet skis, one partially submerged.  The reporting vessel, a good Samaritan, rescued one person but the second, reported to be wearing a black and white lifejacket, was still missing.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew, conducting rescue training with a nearby Coast Guard boat crew at the time of the call, diverted and spotted the missing jet skier in the vicinity of the Robert Moses Causeway.  A rescue swimmer was deployed, hoisting Joseph Piciullo, 47, of Sayeville, N.Y., to safety.  The helicopter crew completed the rescue approximately 15 minutes after the initial call for help.

“The simple message is – when you need your life jacket, you need it on,” said Walt Taylor, a recreational boating safety specialist with the First Coast Guard District. “Here in the Northeast, more than 80 percent of our recreational boating and paddling fatalities are the direct result of capsizing or falling overboard. Of these fatalities, and consistent with national averages, almost 85 percent were not wearing a life jacket.”

The Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., transported Piciullo to Good Samaritan Hospital in Babylon in good condition.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.