Talk about a mitzvah on Rosh Hashanah!
Gerritsen Beach resident Maria Leder was wrapping up a sailing excursion out of Miramar Yacht Club (3050 Emmons Avenue), when she and her crew spotted a sailor in distress and dove in to save his life.
(This is an updated version of a breaking news post published earlier today.)
Leder said the boat was coming into the marina when they noticed a hand sticking out of the water next to a nearby vessel.
“We saw a hand hanging in the air, holding to a rope on the next boat. We saw an older man and it looked like he was trying to repair the boat,” she said.
But something didn’t seem quite right.
“We yelled and we whistled and we tried to see if we could get any sign from him and we couldn’t,” she said. Then the man’s distress became apparent. “He kind of flipped over, with his head in the water. And then I had to jump from the boat that we were in and I swam up to him and flipped him over and I was holding his head in the air.”
Leder and her friends pulled the man from the water and into their vessel. He wasn’t breathing, so they turned him on his side and attempted to dislodge the water from his chest.
After a few attempts, he spat out the water and began breathing.
“He was breathing. He was very, very weak and he was blue-ish,” Leder said, describing the man as being in his 70s and wearing a wet suit.
EMS arrived and strapped the victim to a gurney, and took him to Coney Island Hospital. Police at the scene confirmed to Sheepshead Bites that the man was breathing. The man’s current condition is unknown at this time, as is the cause of the incident.
Leder, however, brushes off any suggestion that she’s a hero, just someone on the right place at the right time.
“Maybe that was the reason for me to be here today,” she said.
Watch Leder give her account of the rescue:
Here are some photos taken by neighbor Gabriella M., and one from us: