GREENWICH, Conn. – Three officers of the Marine Section of the Greenwich Police Department were honored for saving fishermen who were stranded last year in Long Island Sound off Rye, N.Y.
Greenwich Sgt. James Bonney and Marine Officers Francesco DiPietro and Josh Repik came to the aid of the Rye Police Department when three fishermen were stranded on a rock in a rising tide 50 yards off the shore of Rye on Oct. 13.
“This is a clear demonstration how effective training, professionalism, and cooperation makes a difference in public safety,” said Chief James Heavey. “The selfless actions of our officers and those from Rye bring great credit to themselves and the police professions.”
Out on a boat for the rescue, Repik manned the helm and held the vessel steady in the rough waters as DiPietro and Rye Marine Officer Michael Kelly assisted Bonney, who entered the water in a plastic dingy.
Bonney rowed up to the three fishermen and gave each a life jacket. None of them spoke English, and they were unable to communicate with Bonney. The two male fishermen did not understand Bonney and tossed the female fisherman into the dingy. When she landed in the boat, it capsized. Bonney and the woman both landed in the water. Bonney rescued her and placed her in the swamped dingy so marine officers could pull her back to the boat.
Rye Police Department’s chief as well as the Rye Police commissioner determined it was too dangerous to attempt to rescue the remaining two fishermen with the boat. A Westchester County helicopter was dispatched and rescued one fisherman from the rock jetty and the one from the water. All three were checked out by Rye Emergency Medical Services personnel and released.
The three Greenwich officers were chosen as officer of the month for November for their actions.