Suffolk County police officers rescued a North Bay Shore man...

Suffolk County police officers rescued a North Bay Shore man after he fell into a cesspool in his backyard Monday. Credit: SCPD

Suffolk County police rescued a man Monday after he fell into a collapsed cesspool at his North Bay Shore home.

Ralph Santos, 88, was weed whacking in his backyard, at 21 Bancroft Rd., when a cesspool collapsed creating a sink hole.

Santos fell into the hole, holding his head above the contents of the cesspool using the electrical cord from the weed whacker, police said. He was found a short time later by his wife, who called 911 at approximately 5:25 p.m., police said

“He was crying out for a half an hour before I heard him,” Rafaela Santos, Ralph’s wife, said. “I was in the other room and then when I went into the dining room I heard noises; I went outside and I said, ‘Oh my God! He fell into the cesspool.’ ”

She said her husband pointed out that he had been calling to her for a half-hour and then instructed her to get a ladder and put it down the hole.

“He was able to step up on the ladder and hold himself up,” Rafaela said. “The sewage was up to his chest.”

Third Precinct officers responded to the scene and were able to use an emergency life ring to keep Santos afloat. Within minutes, officers pulled Santos out of the hole, which was expanding, at 5:34 p.m.

Rafaela Santos, 85, said the couple has been married for 64 years and have lived in the house for 67 years. On Monday night the town was putting a fence around the hole until it can be fixed, she said.

Ralph Santos was transported by ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with injuries that were not life threatening.

“I was too   shook up to ride in the ambulance with him, I sent my daughter,” Rafaela said. “I’m so relieved I heard him.”

Latest videos


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months