A Good Samaritan reported hearing a call for help in Great South Bay, New York, while walking on the docks at a Lindenhurst marina Monday night (August 19, 2013). His call resulted in the rescue of two people in the water.

Mr. Hattat’s report is an example of how anyone on or near the water can make a big difference in keeping our mariners and waterways safe…

The Good Samaritan, Gem Hattat, 19, of Lindenhurst, New York, reported hearing what sounded like a person or persons calling for help, but could not see if there was someone in the water. Hattat called 911 at approximately 8:54 p.m. and his report was relayed to the Coast Guard and Suffolk County Police.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what I had heard,” said Hattat, “but I knew that if I was in distress and yelling for help, I would hope that someone on shore would risk looking foolish and just make the phone call.”

Once notified of the possible distress, the Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and dispatched a 25-foot rescue boat from Station Fire Island. A Suffolk County Marine Police boat also responded to the call. Once on scene, the marine police found 2 kayakers that had fallen in the water and were in distress. The pair were quickly assisted and brought to safety.

“Mr. Hattat’s report is an example of how anyone on or near the water can make a big difference in keeping our mariners and waterways safe by simply having the courage to say something,” said Commander Jonathan D. Theel, Chief of Response, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “His actions enabled the Coast Guard and Suffolk County Police to rescue two mariners. It is important to note that Mr. Hattat was willing to stay on scene and provide additional information to the responders when they arrived.”

When notified of the outcome of his report, Hattat said he was glad to hear that the two people in the water were recovered by the police and made it safely ashore.

The two kayakers were not wearing life jackets at the time of the incident, and were fortunate in the positive outcome of the case. Statistically, 85% of drownings occur when a mariner is not wearing a life jacket.


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