Kayaker rescued offshore near MOTBY

The Bayonne Fire Department was grateful the man was wearing a life vest

The Bayonne Fire Department rescues a kayaker.
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The Bayonne Fire Department rescues a kayaker.

While many choose to stay at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some residents have other plans. For one man, that meant kayaking, unsuccessfully, in the Hudson River.

According to Fire Chief Keith Weaver, members of the Bayonne Fire Department (BFD) responded to reports of a kayaker in distress in the waters off the city on April 18.

Responding firefighters found a man clinging to his kayak in the middle of the inlet that separates the peninsula at the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY) and the LeFante Way Shopping Plaza. At the scene, first responders communicated with the stranded kayaker using a bullhorn and determined that he was wearing a life vest.

The victim was approximately 100 yards from either shore and was unreachable except by boat, Weaver said. The BFD vessel successfully reached the man and pulled him to safety.

All hands on deck!

The victim was transported by the BFD Marine unit to the United States Coast Guard station for further transportation. At the Coast Guard station, the conscious and alert man was met and treated by McCabe Ambulance EMTs who subsequently transported the him to Bayonne Medical Center. No further information has been released regarding the man’s condition.

The Bayonne Police Department, McCabe Ambulance, New York Police Department Marine and Aviation units, Port Authority Police, and Bayonne Office of Emergency Management all responded, according to Weaver.

On the scene, Weaver said he’s happy that the incident ended well.

“Far too often, people run into trouble in the rough waters around Bayonne, but due to the quick action of our Fire Department and other first responders, this young man will be able to tell this story,” Weaver said. “This is a great example of how wearing a life vest prevented a tragedy.”

Weaver said that everyone should always wear a life vest while on the water.

Meanwhile, Mayor James Davis reminded residents on an April 18 COVID-19 update to continue to follow Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order to curtail the spread of the pandemic.

And the likelihood of a water rescue?

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.