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Top stories of 2018: A year of water rescues

As darkness fell on a cold January night, two oyster growers found themselves in a precarious situation. Their boat had become stuck on an ice formation off Paradise Point.

In an area surrounded by water, first responders frequently find themselves out on water for various types of rescues. In 2018, several of these situations ended with everyone safely making it home thanks to the quick response of police, firefighters and good Samaritans.

The January rescue came to a safe resolution when a Southold police marine unit pulled the men aboard. The men had to get into the water and pull themselves a short distance to the police boat.

In April, a group of determined rescuers banded together to save three men whose boat had sunk in Plum Gut. The men were on a 34-foot wooden boat when they struck rocks in bad weather and the boat took on water. The crew of the Plum Island ferry J.J. Callis took off to help after hearing a distress call transmitted by the U.S. Coast Guard. Members of the Orient Fire Department also assisted and pulled one of the men to safety while the ferry crew rescued the other two. “My crew was absolutely heroic,” John Crowe of Wading River, captain of the Plum Island ferry, said.

In August, a 31-foot sailboat sunk in Peconic Bay between Greenport and Shelter Island. A nearby motorboat responded and pulled three people out of the bay.

In October, members of the Orient Fire Department helped rescue another person whose boat had sunk near Plum Island. In November, the crew of Peconic Star Express helped rescue a Nesconset man whose boat capsized in Long Island Sound. The man was clinging to the vessel for 30 minutes.