Nassau’s top police brass and officials from North Shore University Hospital of Manhasset on Thursday praised two aviation bureau officers who aided a Bayville woman who was struck by a boat’s propeller in Cove Neck last August.
Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter joined victim Edyta Regnowski, and Officers Gregory Caserta and Dennis Angermaier, who helped airlift her to the Northwell Health hospital, and Maria Sfakianos, the surgeon who tended to Regnowski.
The officers received an award for their service at a ceremony attended by about 125 people at Leonard’s of Great Neck on Northern Boulevard, said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, a police spokesman.
Regnowski, a 15-year Nassau resident and dental hygienist, was critically injured when a propeller blade sliced into her leg about 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 8 in the waters between Cove Neck and Cold Spring Harbor.
Regnowski, 34, and her doctors credited the officers’ efficiency with sparing her life.
“I was saved by those guys and my surgeon, and I am glad I could be here tonight,” said Regnowski, who walks with the aid of a prosthetic leg now. “Absolutely, they saved my life.”
The accident occurred when she jumped off the boat to get an untied water tube. The boat operator, who didn’t know she was in the water, put the craft in reverse to anchor it.
Its propeller struck her as she approached the rear of the boat. Officers from the Suffolk police’s marine bureau and bay constables from Oyster Bay and Huntington, who were not at the Nassau event, got her untangled from the propeller and the Nassau officers flew her to the hospital in the aircraft.
Sfakianos said Regnowski was in “very, very critical” condition with massive blood loss and deteriorating mental capacity. She said they pumped Regnowski with blood and worked feverishly to save her.
“It was above and beyond what I expected,” Caserta, a 10-year veteran officer, said of the injury. “As critical as critical can be.”
Angermaier, an 11-year officer with the force and chief pilot of the aviation unit, said the officers were nearby when they heard the distress call of a person struck by a propeller.
“Thankfully, these guys were in the air and able to fly over and land on the beach and get her to a hospital as quickly as they could,” he said.