A 48-year-old woman drowned in Southold Friday morning while trying to assist another woman caught in a current as they were paddleboarding, according to Southold Town police.
Three women were part of a paddleboard yoga class and they were paddling under the Long Island Rail Road bridge that spans Mill Creek and Hashamomuck Pond when one of the paddleboarders got into trouble in the strong current.
Lisa Margaritis of Albertson, N.Y., who is an experienced paddleboarder, tried to assist the woman but got stuck on a bridge piling. She fell into the water and was tethered to the board and was unable to free herself, police said.
A Good Samaritan who was jogging by the scene jumped into the water and managed to free Ms. Margaritis from the bridge piling and brought her ashore, police said.
Southold police, members of the Southold Fire Department Rescue Squad and a Stony Brook Hospital paramedic all responded shortly before 10 a.m. First responders began CPR on Ms. Margaritis and she was transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital where she was later pronounced dead, police said.
Police did not release the identities of the two other paddleboarders. Ms. Margaritis was wearing an inflatable personal flotation device that went around her waist, police said.
The Long Island Rail Road was notified to hold any trains between Greenport and Mattituck as first responders were accessing the bridge over Mill Creek during the rescue attempt. A train scheduled to depart Greenport at 10:14 a.m. was delayed approximately 50 minutes, according to the LIRR.
Photo caption: A view Friday afternoon of the Long Island Rail Road bridge over Hashamomuch Pond where a woman drowned. (Credit: Tara Smith)