Setauket, NY - March 3rd, 2016 - The Suffolk Legislature this week recognized heroic actions taken by seven members of the County’s Police Department and the 20 agencies that responded to a small plane crash in Setauket late last month.
It was just after 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2016 when police received notification that a small, private plane with 4 passengers aboard experienced engine trouble and was forced to make an emergency water landing onto and into Setauket Harbor.
Upon arrival to a chaotic crash scene, first responders began efforts to rescue survivors from the dark and frigid waters, putting their own safety in peril in order to save those scattered throughout the harbor and in danger of succumbing to hypothermia. The decisive and valiant efforts of responders that night ensured the safe recuse of three of the four passengers.
Suffolk County Police Department Lieutenant Michael S. Murphy, Sergeant Paul Mercready, Officer Christopher Draskin, Officer Vashawn Hussain, Officer Matthew Merced, Officer John Roy and Officer Charles Scala are credited with commandeering available resources and rushing toward danger to remove victims from the icy waters.
In addition to the officers, Majority Leader Kara Hahn also recognized the support provided by the Setauket Fire Department and the 19 following agencies under its direction during the operation:
- Setauket Fire Department;
- Centereach Fire Department;
- Coram Fire Department;
- Middle Island Fire Department;
- Mount Sinai Fire Department;
- Nesconset Fire Department;
- Port Jefferson EMS ;
- Port Jefferson Fire Department;
- Rocky Point Fire Department;
- Saint James Fire Department ;
- Selden Fire Department;
- Smithtown Fire Department;
- Sound Beach Fire Department;
- Stony Brook Fire Department;
- Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corp;
- Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services;
- Terryville Fire Department;
- Town of Brookhaven Fire Marshals;
- Town of Brookhaven Harbormaster; and
- United States Coast Guard
The Suffolk County Police Department continues its search for the one passenger not rescued that night. However, because of the actions of the men and women recognized this week, that number is one and not four.