Firefighters rescue 3 from tidal waters after GPS error
Firefighters rescued three people whose sedan stalled in tidal waters after their GPS took them to the village’s Long Beach, rather than the City of Long Beach
By Nicholas Spangler
NISSEQUOGUE, N.Y. — Nissequogue Village firefighters rescued three Queens residents whose sedan stalled in tidal waters after their GPS took them to the village’s Long Beach, rather than the City of Long Beach in Nassau County.
“They said they were coming from out East,” Chief Russ von Frank said. “They wanted to get to Long Beach and typed that into their GPS unit. … They kept following the GPS directions until they couldn’t drive anymore.”
Von Frank said that firefighters responding to a 3 a.m. Nov. 11 emergency call found the three sitting on the roof of their vehicle, which had stalled in two and a half feet of seawater near the Long Beach parking lot.
Nissequogue’s Long Beach, a low-lying spit of land off Long Beach Road in the Long Island Sound, “is very much prone to flooding at extreme high tides,” von Frank said. Firefighters used the department’s high-water vehicle, sometimes used for area rescues in severe weather events, to reach the car.
Von Frank said that the three, whose names he did not release, were taken to a staging area near the Knox School for medical evaluation and then to Smithtown’s Millennium Diner, where an acquaintance picked them up.
Von Frank said this was apparently the first rescue Nissequogue firefighters had to make because of a GPS miscue. But locals periodically encounter lost motorists, he said. “There’s no streetlights, house markings are difficult to see, and if you’re not familiar with the area, it’s easy to get turned around.”
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