August 5, 2015
By Victoria Espinoza
Hovercraft rescues kayakers from Mill Pond Mud
The West Islip Fire Department’s Neoteric hovercraft launches in the mud of Mill Pond to rescue trapped couple in kayak. Photo by Steve Silverman.
A hovercraft came to the rescue of two kayakers stuck in mud in a Centerport pond on Tuesday night, according to Steve Silverman, a spokesman for the Town of Huntington Fire Chiefs Council.
The Centerport Fire Department received a call around 9 p.m. on Tuesday night of a man and a woman stuck in a kayak approximately 100 yards off the shore of Mill Pond.
Once rescuers arrived, they realized they were not able to reach the kayak due to thick mud that was restricting boat access. Centerport Fire Chief Brian Mark then made the call to the West Islip Fire Department for assistance.
West Islip’s hovercraft was the only vessel that could reach the couple, since it is able to float on air and travel over mud, ice and swampy areas a conventional boat can’t traverse.
The Suffolk Police Aviation unit assisted as well, providing a helicopter that gave light to the rescue scene.
Firefighters launched the hovercraft from an access point on Centershore Road, and were able to reach the kayak in several minutes. The Centerport Rescue Squad checked the uninjured couple. The pair was covered in dark mud.
Forty firefighters and emergency medical personnel in total participated in the rescue, which was successfully completed in slightly more than an hour with no injuries.