Fire Island, NY - July 31, 2015 - Two Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau officers, along with an off-duty lifeguard, rescued three men from a rip current at Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island this afternoon.
Peter Giorgianni, 62, of Babylon, was swimming in the ocean and caught a rip current which pulled him out to sea. Michael Baruch, 22, of Smithtown and Kevin Mannix, 49, of Nesconset, attempted to reach Giorgianni, but also caught a rip current and were brought to sea.
Marine Bureau Officers Charles Giardella and Michael Malone responded. Officer Giardella grabbed a life-ring and rescue line and entered the water with an off-duty lifeguard from Point O’ Woods. Officer Malone stayed on shore to coordinate the rescue and maintain communications.
Officer Giardella and the lifeguard swam approximately 100 feet past the breakers, when Officer Giardella passed the life ring to Giorgianni. Officer Giardella swam back to shore dragging the life ring by the rescue line, pulling Giorgianni through the rough waters.
Officer Giardella re-entered the water and again swam out through the breakers to pass the life ring to Mannix and Baruch to assist them to shore.
Surf height at the time of the rescue was approximately 4 feet. Giorgianni stated to the responding officers that he did not think he would have survived if they had not reached him.
Giorgianni was transported by Suffolk County Police boat to Marine Bureau Head Quarters in Great River, where he was transferred to Islip Exchange Ambulance and brought to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore for treatment. Mannix and Baruch refused medical attention at the scene.
The Marine Bureau advises swimmers to swim only on guarded beaches. If caught in a rip current, remember these survival tips:
- Keep calm.
- To get out of the rip current, swim parallel to the beach.
- When out of the rip current, swim at an angle away from the rip current and toward shore.
- If you can't escape this way, float or calmly tread water.