A sound — similar to one made by an injured animal — woke D.J. Crokos early Monday and led him to a woman and her daughter who were washed onto a beach in Orient after wind and tide pushed them and their kayak miles across the Long Island Sound from Connecticut.
“Por favor,” the woman, Delfina Reynoso, 26, of Hartford, Connecticut, said in Spanish as she and her 8-year-old daughter stood behind Crokos’ parents’ beachfront home in the Grandview Estates subdivision.
In the dark of night, Crokos found Reynoso and her daughter, Damaris, barefoot, soaking wet and trembling.
“She kept saying ‘Please’, ‘please,’ ” said Crokos, 27, of Long Beach, who understands a little Spanish.
He called 911 at 3:43 a.m. Meanwhile, his mother brought some towels for Reynoso and her daughter to dry themselves and keep warm.
“They’re lucky to be alive,” Crokos said.
Reynoso and her daughter were treated for hypothermia and released Monday from Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, officials said.
Two men who set out with Reynoso and her daughter from Hammonasset Beach State Park near Madison, Connecticut, on Sunday evening died.
The body of Reynoso’s boyfriend, Abdias Ventura, 30, also from Hartford, was found on shore before dawn, about a quarter-mile west of where Reynoso and her daughter were found. The kayak and the paddle were also recovered.
The body of Ferdinand Lagos, 39, of Manchester, Connecticut, was found about noon Monday, in the Sound, about 5 miles south of the mouth of the Connecticut River. A Coast Guard helicopter spotted Lagos’ body from the air and dispatched a team on the ground to retrieve it.
All four wore life vests when they headed out about 6 or 6:30 p.m. Sunday, said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Matthew Richards of the Long Island Sound Sector in New Haven. Reynoso, her daughter and Ventura were in the kayak. Lagos was traveling alongside on the stand-up paddleboard.
Strong winds and tide carried them to sea, and about 9 p.m., about a mile from the Connecticut shore, Lagos abandoned his paddleboard and attempted to swim to shore, Richards said.
“At some point, the kayak capsized, and the mother and her daughter were able to get back in,” Richards said. “And, for some reason, Mr. Ventura did not.”
With water temperature below 60 degrees, Coast Guard officials believed Ventura died of exposure in the chilly waters.
The distance between Hammonasset Beach State Park and where Reynoso and her daughter ended up is about 15 miles.
“How they came across, I have no clue,” said Crokos’ mother, who didn’t want to be named. “This water is really dangerous. I would never venture out like this. Ever.”
With Randee Daddona