Long Island Man Pulled From Freezing Waters Thanks Rescuers

February 11, 2019 - 3:11 pm

BABYLON, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A Long Island man on Monday was given the opportunity to thank the marine officers who saved his life.

Last November, Greg Antolini’s boat overturned in 10-foot waves just off the coast of Fire Island. By himself with no safety raft, he only had about half an hour to live.

“I thought about the fact that I'm never going to my kids again, you know, and that one hurts,” an emotional Antolini said.

The Babylon man, a husband and father of four, was by himself returning from a fishing trip when he went overboard.

“My father passed away about two years ago and most of my fishing stories revolve around him and I kept thinking he wasn't ready for me yet, he just didn’t want me to come up there yet,” Antolini told reporters.

He was very lucky that afternoon.

Suffolk County Marine Bureau Officer Erik Johnson, who is normally not assigned to patrol the oceanfront, saw the overturned boat that day and eventually spotted Antolini in the waters.

“I tell people this all the time — nobody believes me — I was never cold until they pulled me out put me on the boat. As soon as they pulled me out of the water, I was teeth-chattering cold,” he said.

He was in the water for an hour and a half. The water was 57 degrees that day.

Marine officers treated him from hypothermia and he made a full recovery.

And despite the frightening experience, he says he’s not afraid to go out on the water by himself again.