A Good Samaritan helped Suffolk Sheriffs rescue two young children who drifted off on a raft in the Peconic Bay in Hampton Bays Monday.
In a news release, the sheriff’s office said two children, ages 2 and 3, were on a small pool raft when they drifted away from the shore west of the Shinnecock Canal at approximately 5:40 p.m.
The children’s grandmother, a Hampton Bays woman, attempted to swim after the children but was unable to reach them. Tony Lemos, a Freeport man paddle boarding in the area, was able to hold onto the children’s raft but was unable to get back to shore due to the current and wind, officials said.
Deputy Sheriff Thomas Lyons and Deputy Sheriff Joseph Gallo, on patrol on Marine 1 in Peconic Bay, responded alongside Southampton Town Bay Constable Chris Fraser and located the children approximately 1/4 mile offshore. They were able to get the children and Mr. Lemos onboard safely.
The children, who were wearing life vests, were unharmed and brought back to Shinnecock Marina with no injuries.
They were released to the custody of their grandparents, police said.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. thanked the sheriffs, bay constable and Mr. Lemos for their quick response. “These little children will remember this day for the rest of their lives, and it’s one of those stories that will be retold for generations,” Mr. Toulon said. “Between their efforts, the Bay Constable, and the good Samaritan, this whole incident will be fondly remembered.”