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Fourth of July tragedy: Man drowns trying to help children in Mattituck Inlet

A man drowned Wednesday while trying to help children in deep water near the New York State DEC boat ramp on Naugles Drive in Mattituck, Southold Town police said. 

The man, identified as Leonel Ortiz Lemus, 41, of Central Islip, slipped into even deeper water while trying to assist the children shortly after 3 p.m., police said.

Mattituck and Southold fire department personnel searched the area and the man’s body was recovered about an hour later.  No further details were immediately available.

Caption: The area of the boat ramp about an hour after the search ended. (Credit: Grant Parpan)