Lake Ronkonkoma, NY - September 28, 2016 - Suffolk County police officers rescued two men from the water after their canoe capsized in Lake Ronkonkoma earlier this evening.
At approximately 5:20 p.m., bystanders at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park called 911 and reported two men in distress in the lake. When Fourth Precinct Officer Kevin Wustenhoff arrived, he immediately observed two men in the water screaming for help. Officer Wustenhoff retrieved a life ring and rope from his vehicle and ran towards the lake. Fourth Precinct Officer Richard Regula arrived and tied the end of the rope to his waist and also entered the water. The officers swam approximately 150 feet to where Alejandro Avalos and Carlos Criollo were clinging onto their overturned canoe. Each officer held onto to a victim and carried them to the shallow end of the lake until Avalos and Criollo could walk to shore on their own.
Avalos, 49, of Hempstead, and Criollo, 51, of Baldwin, were transported by Lakeland Fire Department to Stony Brook University Hospital where they were treated for exposure. Officers Wustenhoff and Regula were treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries.