An exhausted boater struggling to swim ashore after his boat flipped in the Long Island Sound on Friday was rescued by good Samaritans who were swift to downplay their role.
“We don’t feel like heroes, we were just in the right place at the right time,” said MJ Bulis.
She and her husband, Eric, 47, of East Marion, were out fishing off Rocky Point Road with another couple, Robert and Mimi Crawford, also of East Marion, who have a 34-foot boat.
Southold police said they were alerted by a 911 caller who reported a man was clinging to the side of his overturned aluminum boat.
They hailed the Crawford’s boat by VHF radio; MJ, noting they always listen to the emergency VHF channel, estimated they were about half a mile away.
“We saw his overturned vessel first . . . we kept going, and kept scanning until we found the person floating in the water,” said MJ Bulis.
“He was too tired to actually pull himself aboard, so two of us pulled him onboard,” she said. “And he just rested on our transom . . . really, really exhausted and spent.”
Emmanuel Leodis, 72, of Greenport, had fallen into the Sound about 500 yards off the beach outside the Pebble Beach community in Greenport shortly before 11 a.m., police said.
His rescuers contacted his family for him, so they could come meet him, MJ said. “He’s a very sweet person.”
Leodis was transferred to a marine police boat, which took him to East Marion. There, the fire department treated and released him, police said.
The constables towed his boat back to shore.