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Greenport man rescued after getting stuck in marsh, cops say

A Greenport man who took a shortcut home early Friday became trapped in a marshy area and was barely conscious with hypothermia when he was pulled free by Southold Town Police.

Romy Perez, 22, was walking to his Sixth Street home at about 3 a.m. when he was stuck in mud and several feet of water north of Silver Lake, Southold police said.

He was able to call 911 and a cellphone ping provided responders with his location.

Southold Chief of Police Martin Flatley said Perez was in water and mud for about an hour overall.

Flatley said Perez originally called a friend who telephoned police. “The friend could not describe where he was, so the dispatcher had Perez call directly so we could ping his cellphone,” Flatley said.

Perez’s call came in at 3:16 a.m., and officers found him at 3:58 a.m., Flatley said. He was pulled from the water at 4:20 a.m.

Officer John Crosser, wearing waders, went in to help Perez, who was in a reedy area and barely conscious, Flatley said. Crosser held Perez above water for about 20 minutes until personnel from the East Marion Fire Department arrived with a rescue platform.

Perez was taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport with hypothermia, police said.

“The area where he went in is first difficult to find and then difficult to access,” Flatley said. “It’s all marsh and reeds and it’s very hard to get anywhere near there.”

Flatley said police are not sure exactly where Perez was coming from, but they think it was somewhere around Moores Lane.

“How he got that far into the muck and mud, I have no idea,” Flatley said.

Two other officers — Samuel Nitsch and Richard Jernick III — were involved in the initial search along with Crosser, Flatley said. The officers went in from different angles, and once Perez was found, Crosser was able to get his waders first, Flatley said.

The Southold and Greenport fire departments also assisted in the rescue, police said.

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