Cops Rescue Windsurfer Amid Thunderstorms in Great South Bay


A man swept off his windsurfing board in the Great South Bay Monday was rescued by Suffolk County police officers who found him neck deep in the water and clinging to his board.

Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau officers responded to the call Monday night after a witness on shore lost sight of the windsurfer in the bay just south of Heckscher State Park in Great River after he was knocked off the board by high winds and waves.

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A line of thunderstorms had roared across the area just before the man, 56-year-old Donald Roth of New Jersey, became separated from his board, police said.

Two officers aboard a rescue boat managed to spot Roth in the water about 20 minutes into their search, police said. Wearing a wetsuit and a helmet, Roth was found clinging to his board.

Officers pulled him out of the water and took him to the Heckscher State Park boat basin in Great River, police said. Roth did not suffer any injuries and did not require medical attention.

Roth was not wearing a life jacket, police said. Authorities advise anyone heading out to the water to wear a personal flotation device and check the weather forecast prior to going out to sea.

A 29-foot U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat also participated in the search, police said.