Bay Plunge Leaves Local Teen In Critical Condition
For two local youths, throwing rocks from the bay wall into Jamaica Bay turned tragic when a 7-year-old boy fell into the bay and his 13-year-old cousin jumped in after him in order to effect a rescue.
While the younger cousin found his own way out of the water, thanks largely to a teenage resident who threw him a basketball to use as a float, the older cousin was pulled under and away from the shore and remains in critical condition at Long Island Jewish Hospital in Floral Park, reportedly on a respirator.
According to a spokesperson for the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), Erwin slipped and fell into the bay.
Saide Palmer, 15, who lives nearby, was playing on his computer when he heard somebody yelling outside. He ran outside and saw Erwin in the water.
Palmer, who cannot swim, called 911 to report the sighting. He told reporters that he remembered using a basketball as a life preserver in a pool when he was younger.
“He told me that the water was sucking him under,” Palmer told reporters at the scene.
Fire Department units from Engine 265/Ladder 121, stationed on Beach 67 Street, responded. They found Erwin in shock from his ordeal and Miller floating in the bay.
Firefighter Craig Mosia, 32, a three year veteran of Engine 265 stripped down and jumped into the bay.
“He was floating face down, not breathing when I got to him,” says the firefighter who swam to the comatose youth.
“I was thinking of my young twin boys at home and about his parents waiting at home,” the young firefighter said later. Mosia has 10 month old twins, Luke and Jake at home in Massapequa.
After reaching the teenager, Mosia went with the current westward to a dock that was sticking out of the water about 50 feet away. He towed the teen to the dock where hands awaited to help pull them out.
Firefighters started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the teen, with the assistance of local resident Robert Denni, until emergency medical technicians arrived and took over the task.
The teen was taken by EMS ambulance to the Peninsula Hospital Center, where medical personnel made the decision to move him to Long Island Jewish Hospital’s Schneider Children’s Unit.
Mosia says that he and his unit practices water rescues every Tuesday, usually in the ocean rather than the bay.
“The water is much rougher there and it makes it more difficult, but the drills really helped today,” Mosia said.
Devin’s Mother, Sherry, 39, said that the boys were supposed to be at the playground at PS 42, on Beach 66 Street, where Devin goes to school and not nearby the bay.