Video: NYPD rescues stranded kayaker who 'took social distancing to the next level'

The man started a fire and spelled out 'HELP' with sticks to alert authorities he was stuck on a remote island

Associated Press

QUEENS, N.Y. — Newly released video shows authorities in New York City rescuing a man who was stranded on a remote island after going kayaking.

"A kayaker takes social distancing to the next level," the NYPD's Special Operations Bureau tweeted Friday with images of their rescue efforts in Jamaica Bay, Queens.

The kayaker, who had been missing for more than 12 hours, started a fire to alert authorities he was stuck on a remote island, according to police.

Footage of the bureau's Aviation Unit shows a man pacing through the island's shore and waving his hands for help. As authorities get closer in a helicopter, they noticed the man had used nearby sticks to spell out "HELP" near the shore.

The helicopter is then seen landing on the island to rescue the kayaker.

The man had no injuries when police found him. Sergeant Jessica McRorie of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information wrote in an email that the man had become stranded after "his kayak took on water and went under."

Associated Press
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