An Albertson woman drowned in a Southold pond Friday morning after her paddleboard got stuck on a bridge piling and she fell into the strong current while trying to help a fellow member of a paddleboarding class, Southold Town police said.
Lisa Margaritis, 49, was pronounced dead at Eastern Long Island Hospital shortly after the 9:52 a.m. incident in Hashamomuck Pond, said Det. Sgt. John Sinning.
Sinning said three women were paddleboarding in the waters of Mill Creek and Hashamomuck Pond when one of them began to experience problems navigating the strong current under the Long Island Rail Road bridge.
Margaritis, whom police described as an experienced paddleboarder, tried to assist the other woman but was thrown into the waters when her paddleboard hit a snag on the bridge piling, Sinning said, adding that she was “tethered to the board and was unable to free herself.”
A jogger saw what was happening and jumped into the water and freed Margaritis, bringing her to shore where first responders including Southold police, Southold Fire Department Rescue Squad members and a Stony Brook University Hospital paramedic performed CPR before taking her to the hospital, Sinning said.
Jean Weber, Margaritis' mother, said she was "devastated" over the death of her only daughter, but that she was not surprised to learn that the registered nurse died while trying to help someone else get out of danger.
"She was a hero in my eyes," said Weber, of Albertson and Southold, calling her daughter "a very good kid. She wanted to save somebody else. She was always kind."