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Feb 4, 2019 1:00 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Man Rescued, But Dog Dies, After They Fall Into Icy Water At Napeague On Sunday

The beach at Napeague Harbor on Monday.   KYRIL BROMLEY
Feb 5, 2019 11:28 AM

Two bystanders helped rescue a man and his dog who had fallen into the icy water of Napeague Harbor just before sunset on Sunday before emergency personnel arrived. Although the man was saved, his dog did not survive.

Randall Parsons of East Hampton, a member of the East Hampton Town Planning Board and former town councilman, was walking his dog on the beach about a half mile from the end of Napeague Harbor Road when the dog walked out onto the frozen ice, according to East Hampton Town Police Captain Chris Anderson. Mr. Parsons followed, then broke through the ice, falling into about 4 to 5 feet of frigid water.

The air temperature at the time was about 39 degrees, said Capt. Anderson, who guessed that water temperature would have been in the 30s.

Jim Sullivan was clamming nearby when he heard Mr. Parsons’s yells for help, Capt. Anderson said. After calling 911, Mr. Sullivan and another person also on the beach, who was not identified, entered the water in an attempt to help Mr. Parsons before emergency personnel arrived.

The 911 call came in at 4:29 p.m. East Hampton Town Police, the Amagansett Fire Department and the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad responded.

Chris Beckert, the Amagansett Fire Department’s 2nd assistant chief, was the first to arrive at the scene. He picked up two police officers on his way and drove out onto the beach about a half mile from the access near the Walking Dunes. His brother, Chief Bill Beckert, picked up other officers on his way.

Chief Beckert said everyone arrived at the scene within a minute of each other. “The men were in the water about 100 yards offshore,” he said, referring to Mr. Parsons and the two Good Samaritans. “They were far offshore.”

Chief Beckert said the two men were able to take Mr. Parsons about 20 to 30 yards closer to shore. “The men were overcome by the cold water and needed help,” Chief Beckert said.

He said one of the responders happened to have a small dinghy in the back of his pickup truck. The men slid the dinghy across the ice, breaking the ice, and were able to pull Mr. Parsons out of the water. He was exhibiting signs of hypothermia, Chief Beckert said.

By 4:48 p.m., all three men were out of the water, Capt. Anderson said. Mr. Parsons was dried off and warmed up before being taken by ambulance to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

Chief Beckert said an ambulance, including one from the Montauk Fire Department, was called for each of the men, but that the two men who’d assisted were able to warm up in their cars. “The two men refused medical attention,” the chief said.

Chief Beckert and Capt. Anderson both noted how fortunate it had been that there happened to be two people on the beach at the time of the incident.

Ocean Rescue had gone out to save Mr. Parsons’s dog, which had also fallen in the water, but the dog subsequently died after being pulled out. “Later on, I found out that the dog had passed away,” said Chief Beckert.

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Well done FE. PD and the civilians involved. Be safe out there, especially with this weather...
By knitter (1656), Southampton on Feb 4, 19 7:18 PM
Key word " Bystanders" who happen to be near by ...
Feb 4, 19 7:56 PM appended by minarditraining.com
Key word here is "Bystanders" ... people who happen to be nearby , capable of making a rescue were response time is critical ..."it takes a village'
By minarditraining.com (18), Easthampton on Feb 4, 19 7:56 PM
typo ugh
throw a 'h' in there :)
By minarditraining.com (18), Easthampton on Feb 4, 19 9:32 PM
Glad you’re ok, Randy! So sorry about your dog. :(
By honor trees (14), east Hampton on Feb 6, 19 4:25 PM