CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is being credited with helping rescue a man who had been swept away by a riptide in the Hamptons.
The New York Post reports that the "New Day" anchor was on his fishing boat with his wife and children near Shelter Island's Sunset Beach on Sunday when he spotted the man struggling in the Peconic River.
Philippe East Hampton club managing partner Frank Cilione says Cuomo threw the man a life preserver, then jumped into the water, swam to him and pulled him to shore.
Shelter Island Police Chief James Read says a bay constable picked up Cuomo and the man on a boat.
Cilione tells the Post that Cuomo saved the man's life.
According to the US Lifesaving Association rip currents are the leading surf hazard for beachgoers. The USLA estimates that the annual number of deaths due to rip currents on our nation's beaches exceeds 100. Rip currents account for over 80% of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards.
Rip currents are powerful, fast-moving channels of water (up to 8 feet per second) that typically flow from the shoreline to beyond the area where waves break. They can form on any beach or lake shore where waves are breaking, often near sandbars, jetties and piers, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
What should you do if caught in a rip current? NOAA recommends:
- Keep calm. Don't fight the rip current.
- To get out of the rip current, swim sideways, parallel to the beach. This will get you out of the rip current so you can swim back in with the waves helping you along.
- When out of the rip current, swim at an angle away from the rip current and toward shore.
- If you can't escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water. Rip current strength eventually weakens offshore. When it does, swim away from the rip current toward shore.
- If at any time you are unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
Cuomo is the brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.