2009-08-07 / Top Stories

Detective Pulls Woman From Riis Park Surf

By Howard Schwach

Det. Anthony Quagliariello pulled a woman from the Riis Park surf on July 27. Det. Anthony Quagliariello pulled a woman from the Riis Park surf on July 27. A police detective on his regular evening run at Riis Park on Monday evening saw a woman being pulled out to sea by a raging riptide, jumped into the water and dragged her to safety.

Rockaway resident Anthony Quagliariello, who is assigned to the Joint Terrorist Task Force, was jogging on the beach at about 8 p.m. on July 27, listening to his iPod when somebody told him that two women were drowning in the surf.

Quagliariello told The Wave that he saw a head bobbing out in the waves, about 20 yards from shore.

He quickly stripped off his sneakers and shirt and plunged into the water.

When he got to the unidentified woman, he found another man, a friend who was on the shoreline, attempting to save her, but the man was so fatigued, Quagliariello had to help him back to shore as well.

"I grabbed the woman and started to pull her to shore," the detective said. "The guy just kind of came along with us."

By the time Quagliariello reached the woman, she was more than 30 yards from shore, and it was a hard job getting her in against the raging rip currents that were moving out to sea.

"There were no lifeguards on duty, but by the time I got her to shore, the police, firefighters and EMTs were responding," he said. "She swallowed a lot of water, but was otherwise fine."

Quagliariello said that the woman told him that she was not swimming, that she had gone into the water to get the sand off her feet when she was swept away by a rip current."

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