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DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Highlights ECO Actions for Early June: Rescue at the Fire Island Inlet

On Saturday, June 11, ECOs Kevin Holzle and Ron Gross were on boat patrol off the south shore of LI when a frantic "mayday" call came across their marine band radio.

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Photo by: Beth McLaughlin.

Fire Island, NY - June 29, 2016 - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2015, the 268 ECOs based across the state responded to 25,000 calls and issued 22,000 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping to illegal mining, black market pet trade and excessive emissions violations.

"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs who patrol our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They labor through long and arduous hours, often deep in our remote wildernesses or in the tight confines of our urban landscapes, and without much public fanfare. But their work centers around the most important things we do at the DEC."

Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:

Rescue from an Overturned Boat at the Fire Island Inlet - Suffolk County
On Saturday, June 11, ECOs Kevin Holzle and Ron Gross were on boat patrol off the south shore of Long Island when a frantic "mayday" call came across their marine band radio reporting that a vessel had flipped over near the Fire Island Inlet and two people were thrown overboard, sustaining unknown injuries. The ECOs responded within minutes to the accident, joining the the U.S. Coast Guard on the scene. Both occupants of the boat had to be pulled from the water. One suffered a broken arm while the other sustained only minor injuries. The Coast Guard transported the victims to their station at Fire Island and the ECOs stayed with the overturned boat to keep onlookers away and prevent a second accident until it could be towed away.