River rescue off Gantry Plaza State Park

By Bill Parry

A police lieutenant from the 108th Precinct is being called a hero after a rescue operation in the waters off Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City. The incident began around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31, when two adolescents jumped into the East River at the 11th Street Basin and found themselves in difficulty, according to the NYPD.

A 56-year-old man jumped into the water to assists the youths and was able to successfully get one of them out of the water, but then he needed assistance.

When the NYPD responded to a 911 call in front of 45-50 Center Blvd., they were able to pull the second youth to safety, but the good Samaritan was out of reach. That’s when Lieutenant John Cermeli dove into the water, and with the assistance of another officer, was able to remove the man from the water. Both the adolescents and the 56-year-old man were uninjured, police say.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.