Paddle boarder rescued off Fire Island

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A paddle boarder swept by a strong current into the ocean off Fire Island was rescued Saturday afternoon by Suffolk police.

Brian Hopkins, 32, of Rockville Centre, called 911 on his cellphone at about 4:20 p.m. to report that he was drifting out into the ocean a half-mile south of the island lighthouse, police said.

When rescuers responded, waves were 6 to 8 feet high with whitecaps, making it difficult to locate Hopkins.

Through a dispatcher, he was able to guide a police helicopter to his location, about one mile from shore. The helicopter then directed a Marine Bureau boat.

Hopkins was brought to the Coast Guard station on Fire Island and then taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he was treated for hypothermia.

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