2011-12-02 / Top Stories

Cops Rescue Sinking Fisherman

Draws Crowd To Beach 147 Street Oceanfront
By Howard Schwach

While most local residents were out and about enjoying an unusually warm Sunday afternoon, a Brooklyn fisherman was slowly freezing, clinging for life to his small green kayak in 54 degree water, awaiting rescue by the NYPD.

Police sources say that Etay Levy, 46, of Brooklyn was fishing off the Rockaway coastline at about Beach 147 Street when his kayak began to sink.

Levy whipped out his cell phone and dialed 911.

He described his location to the police dispatcher as “about a mile offshore from Riis Park,” adding that he was in a green kayak and was wearing an orange cap and a blue coat.

Harbor Adam was dispatched from Howard Beach and aviation units were dispatched from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

The crew from Aviation 23 spotted Levy in the water, clinging with both hands to his small kayak, which was quickly taking on water and sinking.

As a large group of onlookers watched from the beach, two NYPD divers, Police Officers Jason Gregory and Darren Blum, jumped from the copter into the cold water.

They secured Levy in a rescue basket lowered from the copter and he was taken aboard, followed by the divers.

Levy was wearing only street clothes and was suffering from severe hypothermia, police sources say.

He was transported to the aviation unit’s base at Floyd Bennett Field and then taken by EMS ambulance to the New York Community Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

A harbor launch retrieved his kayak and his fishing equipment.

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