Overturned Kayaker Rescued Off Coast of Queens

NY Daily News - May 18, 2020


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A kayaker was rescued Sunday morning after his boat capsized off the Queens shoreline, cops said.

The kayaker was paddling in Jamaica Bay near the North Channel Bridge between Howard Beach and Broad Channel when his boat flipped over just before 7 a.m.

Members of FDNY Ladder 173, who are trained to make cold-water rescues, rushed to the scene and searched the waters.

After finding the paddler stranded under a bridge holding onto his boat but unable to get ashore, Firefighter Dmitriy Teplitskiy donned a cold-water rescue suit, tethered himself to land and waded out to bring the capsized explorer ashore.

“He [the kayaker] was looking pretty tired and looked like he couldn’t get anywhere — he had a pretty strong current,” said Lt. John-Paul McCloskey, 41, who oversaw the operation.

"We had one of our members ... swim out to the kayaker without a problem. He checked to make sure the kayaker was conscious. He helped to secure the kayaker.”

While the kayaker was rescued without harm, McCloskey urged New Yorkers to think before they put themselves at risk.

“People should know their limitations," said McCloskey. "We are always going to be here, but it’s important for people to know what they should be doing and what they shouldn’t be doing.”