Friday’s high winds promised prime conditions for windsurfing in Peconic Bay, but the gusts proved too much for a 68-year-old man who after failing to return to the beach was rescued by police on the sandspit on the northern end of Robins Island and then treated by the Cutchogue Fire Department for exposure.
Police said the man, John Vanderwolf of Center Moriches , did not require hospitalization.
When the man did not return to the beach in New Suffolk friends called 911, but as sometimes occurs with cell phone service in that area, the call went to to the Southampton town police, said Southold Chief Martin Flatley. After a Suffolk County Police helicopter located the man at about 12:22 p.m., Southampton bay constables picked him up and brought him back to New Suffolk, where he was treated by the fire department’s rescue squad.
“Anytime someone is in the water this time of year the fire departments checks them out for exposure,” Chief Flatley said. The man, who was wearing a full wetsuit, had no other health issues.
The chief said conditions on the water were “extremely rough.” Southampton police clocked the wind out of the southwest at 25 mph with gusts up to 45. Seas were 4 to 7 feet and the water temperature at about 40 degrees. Mr. Vanderwolf’s windsurf board was not recovered.
The Coast Guard also assisted in the search.