Three young but experienced kayakers were rescued after they were blown off course into the Long Island Sound and separated Tuesday, with two ending up in the water, Suffolk police said.
Marine bureau officers off Northport rescued Michael Fisher, 16, his brother Matthew Fisher, 20, and Kevin Nobs, 16, and also took back to shore two lifeguards, who were on their long boards helping Nobs.
"They would have ended up in Stamford, the way they were going," Officer Paul Carnival, 46, said of the trio after he and partner Keith Walters found them.
The brothers and their friend had launched off Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga when the wind rose up to 20 mph and the waves up to 4 feet shortly before 2:30 p.m., Carnival said.
The three, all from East Northport, thought they could make it back to shore -- until they ended up 1.5 miles into the Sound, the officer said.
The older Fisher dove out of his kayak to swim back, while a wave overturned Nobs' kayak, putting him upside down for a bit, Carnival said. All wore life jackets, he said.
The younger Fisher took his cellphone out of a plastic storage bag to call 911, police said.
In a 31-foot boat named Romeo, Carnival and Walters happened to be patrolling nearby off Northport. About the same time, two lifeguards from Crab Meadow Beach Park swam out on long boards to the trio, police said.
At least half a mile of water separated the three friends when the Romeo arrived, and first retrieved the younger Fisher, who was the farthest out, then Nobs, the two lifeguards, and Matthew Fisher, who had swam a half mile, Carnival said.
"Thanks a lot" and "We appreciate it," the officer said the uninjured trio told them. He said they told him they had been kayaking since they were kids.
"They were all shaken up, but they weren't injured," Carnival said. "I'm thankful we were there and thankful that the younger one was smart enough to have their cellphone in a Ziploc bag."
Tuesday night, the kayakers were together again, watching a movie at the Fishers' home, said Nobs' mother, Mary Patane.
She was shopping when her son called to brief her about what had happened -- without telling her how far out he got. She read that in the news.
Patane thanked the officers, but as for her son, she joked: "He's grounded for life. . . . He's never going to get on a kayak again."