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County Aviation Unit Rescues Wind Surfer on Long Island Sound

Westchester County's Aviation Unit uses a Bell helicopter like this one.
Westchester County's Aviation Unit uses a Bell helicopter like this one.
The Westchester County Police Aviation Unit on Thursday night rescued a wind surfer who had gone out on the Long Island Sound and was unable to make his way back to the mainland, said spokesman Kieran O'Leary.

The incident began about 7:40 p.m. when New Rochelle Police received a 911 call from a person on shore who said he observed a wind surfer out on Long Island Sound fall off the board. The caller further stated that the wind surfer was clinging to the board and had drifted out of sight of those on shore.

The county police Aviation Unit responded and conducted a search of the Long Island Sound between the Glen Island/David’s Island area in New Rochelle and Orchard Beach in the Bronx using heat-seeking, night-vision technology.

Unable to locate the man on the water, the Unit did a sweep of David’s Island 
and was able to see the wind surfer had made it to the southwestern portion of the island.

The county police helicopter landed on David’s Island and was able to retrieve the 26-year-old Mount Vernon resident and his equipment. He was taken by helicopter back to the mainland at Glen Island Park where he was evaluated for hypothermia by EMS. The man declined additional medical attention.

The county police helicopter was piloted by Police Officer Richard Pucillo. The Tactical Flight Officer aboard, who operated the heating-seeking FLIR technology, was Police Officer Michael Brady.

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