Woman, child blown across Sound in kayak; 2 men dead
A mother and her daughter were windblown across the Long Island Sound from Connecticut in a kayak overnight, and two men who accompanied them on the water were found dead.
The Coast Guard and Southold police say a 26-year-old woman and her 8-year-old daughter washed ashore in a kayak around 4 a.m. Monday. A neighbor heard their yells for help on the beach and called 911.
The woman and her daughter had left from the coastline in Madison, Connecticut, around 6 p.m. Sunday. There was another occupant, an adult male, with them in the kayak. A second man accompanied them on the water in a paddleboat alongside the kayak.
Officials say the group encountered wind gusts of 20 mph and couldn't make it back to shore. The man on the paddleboat jumped off of his craft to try to swim back to shore, but he didn't make it, and the woman said she lost sight of him in the water.
The three in the kayak battled high winds and rough surf for nine hours. The high winds carried them 15 miles from the Connecticut coast to a private beach in Orient.
The mother and her daughter were found on the beach still in their life preservers, shivering and suffering from hypothermia.
The Coast Guard says the man who had been in the kayak was found dead on the beach in Orient about 1 mile from where the kayak was recovered.
After a search, the body of the man who had been on the paddleboat was found on the Connecticut side of the Long Island Sound, about 5 miles south of the Connecticut River, officials say.
Police say the mother and her daughter were hospitalized and are expected to be OK.
The Coast Guard is reminding anyone who sets out on the water to use crucial gear including a personal floatation device, a handheld VHF radio and flares. They also are urging people to notify someone on land about intended destinations and estimated times of departure and return, and to be mindful of forecast information including winds, tides and currents.
The Coast Guard is also reminding people that despite the warm weather, water temperatures remain cold. Officials say it's important to dress appropriately for frigid water conditions.