CNN anchor Chris Cuomo helps rescue swimmer off Greenport

08/18/2015 2:58 PM |
New Day

New Day

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo helped a swimmer in distress between Greenport and Shelter Island Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Cuomo, who co-hosts the program “New Day” and is a brother of Governor Andrew Cuomo, told police the swimmer had apparently been swimming off his boat when he was swept away by the tide.

On his television show Tuesday morning, Mr. Cuomo said the man “didn’t judge the current right” and floated by the boat Mr. Cuomo’s family was operating.

“As he came by us I said, ‘How’re you doing?’ ” Mr. Cuomo said. “He didn’t look right.”

Mr. Cuomo threw a life preserver in and jumped into the bay.

“I didn’t think. I just went in and got him,” Mr. Cuomo said, adding he hadn’t mentioned the rescue previously to protect the privacy of the swimmer.

Mr. Cuomo swam with the man to a place where they could stand near the shore.

Minutes later, Shelter Island Bay Constable Peter Vielbig helped the two men from the chest-deep water off Crescent Beach Sunday afternoon in the North Channel, just east of Jenning’s Point.

Mr. Vielbig said he was on patrol , when he saw the two men waving from the shore area.

This area is near the Sunset Beach Hotel, where many boats are anchored on summer weekends. The channel is also known for rapidly moving currents.

The bay constable took them on board and returned them to their anchored boats.

According to the Shelter Island Police Department, “both persons appeared safe and not in any distress.”

Media outlets including CNN and the New York Post described the swimmer in distress as “drowning,” but Shelter Island Police Department Chief Jim Read said those reports are inaccurate.

“If [the swimmer had] been drowning, we wouldn’t have returned him to his boat, but taken him to the hospital,” Chief Read said.

Mr. Cuomo, who gave police a Southampton address, couldn’t be reached for comment.

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