Family rescued after boat capsizes

(Original publication: April 15, 2003)

A Kent police sergeant and a Lake Carmel fire captain rescued two children and their father when their boat capsized in Lake Carmel on Saturday afternoon.

The quick response by Sgt. Jerry Raneri and Capt. Edward Keck may have prevented serious injury to the family — Paul Collazo and his daughter and son, who are 7 and 5. Collazo took his children out on the lake for a boat ride Saturday around 4 p.m. when strong winds made the water choppy.4

Lake Carmel firefighters were out on a call for downed wires when a 911 call came in at 4:16 p.m., reporting a man on the lake screaming for help, Fire Chief Richard Hauth said yesterday. Fire Department officers rushed to the lake while the Mahopac Falls Fire Department dive team was also dispatched. As Lake Carmel firefighters were readying their rescue boat, Raneri and Keck jumped into a boat and rowed out to the Collazos.

The two children were hanging on to the side of the boat in water that Hauth estimated was about 40 degrees. As Raneri and Keck pulled the shivering children into the boat, Lake Carmel firefighters arrived in their boat and rescued Collazo. The children were wearing life vests.

"The water was extremely cold ,and hypothermia could have set in within a matter of minutes," Hauth said. "It was an excellent response."

Raneri and Keck wrapped the children in blankets and the family members were taken ashore to a waiting Lake Carmel ambulance and rushed to the Putnam Hospital Center, where they were treated and released.

Collazo said yesterday that his children were doing fine and praised the response of police and firefighters.

"They did a fantastic job," he said. "It was very impressive."


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005