Atlantic Ocean

Long Island swimmer alive after treading ocean water for 5 hours

Police say the man tied a shirt to a broken fishing pole in order to attract the attention of possible boaters

Long Island man treated by medics after treading waters for five hours.
Suffolk Co. PD

A man from Long Island is recovering from hypothermia after treading water for about five hours in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday.

Police in Suffolk County said a 63-year-old from Copiague went for a swim at Cedar Beach in Babylon around 5 a.m. When he went out into the open water, police said, he was pulled out by the current.

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For the next five hours, the swimmer fought to stay above water without a flotation device to assist him. The department said he managed to recover a broken fishing pole and tie his shirt to it in an effort to flag down any passing watercraft.

The swimmer was eventually spotted some 2.5 miles down the coast from where he got into the water, police said. Two men aboard a vessel spotted the 63-year-old, pulled him aboard, and called for assistance over the radio.

The police department's Marine Juliet vessel responded to the good Samaritans and recovered the swimmer, who they said was unable to stand and needed aid for hypothermia. Officers brought the man to shore, where he was treated by a medic from the U.S. Coast Guard and then taken to a hospital in West Islip.

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