MANHATTAN - Four NYPD officers from Long Island who were involved in yesterday's dramatic rescue of a helicopter that plunged into the East River sat down with News 12 Long Island today to share their stories.
Lt. Larry Serras, a 25-year veteran of the NYPD from Suffolk County, was taking part in an anti-terrorism drill nearby when the chopper went down. He and his Emergency Services Unit partner, 14-year veteran Detective Keith Connelly, responded to the scene and didn't hesitate jumping into the murky water.
Serras and his dive partners say they train regularly in the waters surrounding Manhattan, and they say that they were ready for this type of emergency.
Detective Ken Fehn, a 21-year veteran from Nassau, and his partner, Jason Gregory, also jumped in to help, fighting strong currents to save four of the five people trapped inside the sinking chopper.
Members of the dive team say their only regret is that they were unable to save the fifth helicopter passenger, Australian tourist Sonia Marra.
The four NYPD heroes from Long Island were also involved in the rescue of passengers from U.S. Airways Flight 1549, which crashed into the Hudson River in 2009.
For an interview with Lt. Larry Serras about the rescue, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.