Off-duty NY FFs rescue boy from rip current

North Patchogue Firefighters Justin Owen and Steven Welsh managed to pull the 12-year-old out of the water at Smith Point Beach


By Laura French

SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — Two off-duty firefighters rescued a 12-year-old boy who was pulled into the ocean by a rip current on Sunday. 

North Patchogue Firefighters Justin Owen and Steven Welsh were spending their day off at Smith Point Beach on Long Island when they were alerted that a child had been caught in the rip current, according to a Facebook post by the department

Kyle, 12, and his parents visited North Patchogue Firefighters Steve Welsh (left) and Justin Owen the day after firefighters rescued the boy from a rip current while off duty. (Photo/North Patchogue Fire Department Facebook)
Kyle, 12, and his parents visited North Patchogue Firefighters Steve Welsh (left) and Justin Owen the day after firefighters rescued the boy from a rip current while off duty. (Photo/North Patchogue Fire Department Facebook)

Several other people had tried to retrieve the boy, including the boy's father, but were unable to due to the rough waters, according to News 12 Long Island. Owen and Welsh managed to swim out and reach the boy, keeping him afloat until they made it to shore where he was evaluated by EMS. 

The boy, Kyle, and his family visited the fire station Monday morning to meet with the firefighters again and express their gratitude. The firefighters said the incident is a reminder to stay out of the water during rough currents and to swim parallel to shore. 

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