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Kayakers, boater rescued in separate incidents, police say

Three people were pulled from the water off Suffolk’s South Shore in two police rescues Saturday night.

A Suffolk County Marine Bureau officer rescued Kelvin Velasquez, 32, of Lindenhurst, who had fallen overboard from a boat in Great South Bay shortly after 7 p.m.

A witness called 911 at 7:10 p.m. to report two people in the water near a boat about a half-mile from the coast in Bay Shore, according to Suffolk County Police. The marine bureau’s Marine Charlie boat, as well as a Sea Tow Great South Bay boat, which had been called to assist the distressed boaters who had run out of fuel, arrived shortly on the scene police said.

Authorities said one of the overboard boaters swam back to and boarded the boat, a 19-foot Bayliner. Sea Tow captain Julie Lindell jumped into the water attempting to save Velasquez but was unsuccessful.

Marine Bureau Sgt. John Vahey saw Velasquez, who police said was intoxicated and suffering from hypoxia — a lack of oxygen — go under the water and jumped in to save him, police said. Vahey positioned a life ring under Velasquez's shoulders while keeping his head above water. Velasquez was combative during the rescue, police said.

Bayport and Sayville fire departments also assisted, and Bayport firefighter Ed Sommerville jumped in to help as well. Sayville firefighters pulled Vahey, Sommerville and Velasquez aboard the department’s vessel.

Velasquez was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore for injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.

Earlier in the evening, Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau officers, Town of Brookhaven lifeguards and a Good Samaritan all came to the aid of two kayakers in Bellport Bay  in Shirley.

Carol Robinson was at Shirley Beach when she noticed two kayakers in distress about 100 yards off shore at around 6:15 p.m., police said.

Robinson, 61, of Medford, grabbed her kayak, entered the water and attempted to rescue the kayakers. She was joined by Town of Brookhaven lifeguard Joseph Cortes, 17, who paddled out on his surfboard and another unidentified lifeguard, police said.

Police said Jason Inestroca, 12, of Freeport, and his older sister,   who was not named, were the kayakers in distress, police said.

The unidentified lifeguard helped the woman return to shore, as Cortes and Robinson continued on to rescue Jason, police said.

Marine Bureau police Officers Steven Tarolli, Mike Malone and Rob Daniels also responded aboard Marine Mike and were able to bring Jason, Cortes and Robinson to shore, police said.

Jason and his sister were not injured, police said.

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