Father, son rescued from rip current in Westhampton Beach

His dad tried to save him, but got pulled out too.

His dad tried to save him, but got pulled out too. (6/27/16)

WESTHAMPTON BEACH - Officials say a Ronkonkoma man and his young son were rescued following a scare in the waters off Westhampton Beach.

According to police, 12-year-old Justyn Espineira, who has autism, was swimming off Cupsogue Beach on Dune Road around 6 p.m. when a strong rip current dragged him out to sea. 

Rick Espineira tried to save his son, but the current overcame him too.

Experts say it’s virtually impossible to swim against the power of a rip current. They say swimmers trapped in such a stream should swim parallel to the shore until they escape it.

Espineira says he went out after his son on a bodyboard and tried to move parallel to shore, but kept getting dragged farther into the water.

The current dragged them nearly half a mile from the shore.

"We couldn't see them anymore from the beach," says Espineira's wife, Wendy. "To be totally honest, I thought if it's going to end, at least he's with his dad."

Luckily for the Espineiras, rescuers successfully brought them back to shore.

A Suffolk County Police helicopter spotted the father and son and kept them in sight until Marine Bureau officers Robert Femia and Neil Stringer arrived with a boat and plucked them from the water. 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Police say Jay Marcello inappropriately touched teenagers while 1 Wantagh man charged with sexually abusing kids at day camp
It was the first time Marie Tolley spoke 2 Foundation offers to pay fallen firefighter's mortgage
Khalid Chohan was arrested two years ago after 3 Man who touched underage co-workers gets probation
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is behind a 4 Gov. Cuomo pushes for booze sales in movie theaters
Suffolk fire officials say a house was gutted 5 House gutted by overnight fire in Oakdale

advertisement | advertise on News 12


Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.