A trio of officers in Suffolk's Marine Bureau and State Park Police were praised by county officials Friday for rescuing kayakers and an injured surfer.
"This is about taking the time to recognize and to highlight the work done by law enforcement and by police officers and by first responders every day that goes largely unseen," County Executive Steve Bellone said at a news conference Friday at the Marine Bureau Headquarters.
On July 19 — a windy, dark day — Christopher DeFeo and Anthony Chin, marine bureau officers, rescued Noreen McLoughlin, 54, and her daughter Dana, 19, said Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said, recounting the rescue.
Noreen McLoughlin, of Levittown, said she was in Commack visiting her mother-in-law when she decided to go boating.
The kayakers were found on the Long Island Sound, near Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, after the pair had difficulty getting back to shore, police said. Noreen McLoughlin phoned her husband to ask for help and he alerted the Marine Bureau.
The two officers spotted the mother and daughter because of their cellphone light, said Noreen McLoughlin, who spent more than two hours in the kayak with her daughter.
"I was grateful that I was able to thank them because I wouldn't have got back without them," she said.
Hart said they were safely taken to the Kings Park boat ramp near the Quogue River.
Before Bellone handed them proclamations, he shook hands with officers DeFeo and Chin.
"It's important for these officers to understand that we appreciate the work that they do because they are taking risks and making sacrifices to make sure that we all remain safe," Bellone said.
"It feels good that we're appreciated," said DeFeo.
Hart thanked Fifth Precinct Officer Craig Capobianco, who was off-duty when he helped an injured surfer, Mia Imbesi, 24, of Huntington. Her surfboard fin had sliced through her right thigh on July 28 at Gilgo Beach in Babylon.
"As many officers will tell you, even when they are not on duty they still have the responsibility to protect and serve," Hart said.