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Editorial: Over a two-day period, lives were saved

On Saturday evening, with dusk soon to arrive, the wind rising and temperatures dropping, rescuers put their own lives on the line to save three men whose boat, a 34-foot Chris Craft, had struck rocks in the challenging waters of Plum Gut off Orient Point. 

Two days later, near midnight Monday evening, Southold Police Officer John Hinton arrived at a fiery crash on Route 25 in East Marion, where a 30-year-old man from Mastic had struck a guard rail on the causeway. Mr. Hinton helped the driver of the car, Antonio McGill, who suffered burns, to safety. Just a few hours earlier to the west in Flanders, members of the Flanders and Riverhead fire departments, assisted by Southampton Town police and Flanders and Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance members, responded to a fire at a house under construction. Firefighters faced the daunting task of stretching a hose nearly 800 feet to connect the closest fire hydrant to reach the home at the end of the road. They successfully contained the fire to mostly one room, saving the home from further destruction.

These incidents remind us once again of the public service performed by our first responders and others, like Plum Island ferry captain John Crowe of Wading River, and his crew, who put themselves at risk to save and assist boaters in danger.

At any time of day or night, these brave men and women are ready to answer the call. For every heroic rescue story published in the newspaper, there are countless other examples of everyday responses — from assisting the elderly who are sick, to helping people in minor accidents — that go unreported. A humble group of people, they don’t do what they do for the accolades. It’s about caring for the communities where they live and helping neighbors.

It’s always worth taking some time to thank the many heroes among us.

We salute the first responders, rescuers and Mr. Hinton for the courage they showed and the lives they saved. Bravo!

Caption: Plum Island ferry heroes (from left) Caroline Clements, Nicholas Galiano, Capt. John Crowe and Josh Hubbard. (Credit: ASRC Federal Field Services/Visual Information Service)